Vettel leads Ferrari front row lockout – Qualifying Report

Russian Grand Prix – Sebastian Vettel claimed Ferrari’s first pole position of the season ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen at the Sochi Autodrom.

Despite strong pace improvements from Mercedes, Ferrari managed to claim their first qualifying one-two since the 2008 French Grand Prix.

In a busy session – where drivers were completing more than one lap in order to warm up their tyres – Vettel’s 1:33.194 pipped Raikkonen in the final seconds of qualifying.

An increase in pace from Mercedes wasn’t enough to prevent the all-red front row, with Valtteri Bottas claiming third place on the grid and falling one tenth short of Vettel.

Team-mate Lewis Hamilton was unable to match the pace of the front three, falling over half a second off the pace.

There was a gap over one second between Hamilton and fifth-placed Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull), whilst Williams’ Felipe Massa out-qualified the second Red Bull of Max Verstappen to qualify sixth.

Nico Hulkenberg claimed seventh for Renault, with Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon completing an all-Force India row five.

Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso), Lance Stroll (Williams), Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) and Kevin Magnussen (Haas) were all separated by less than one tenth of a second in a closely-fought Q2 session, with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso taking 15th.

Renault’s Jolyon Palmer ended the first part of qualifying in the wall on the exit of the final corner after taking too much of the apex and losing control of the car, ending up in 16th place.

McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne failed to progress into Q2 as a result, finishing 17th ahead of Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber), who spun out on his final run at turn 13, Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) and Romain Grosjean (Haas).

To view the full results of the qualifying hour, click here.

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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