Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton lockout the front row in Sochi
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News September 29, 2018 Updated: 12:41 PM PT
SOCHI, Russia — Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas took his sixth career pole position ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton in Saturday's qualifying for tomorrow's Russian Grand Prix.
Along with his second pole of the season, Bottas and Hamilton also gave the Mercedes team their 90th front-row lockout. Hamilton finished 0.145s behind his teammate after his Mercedes ran wide on the entry to Turn 7 forcing him to abandon his lap.
“I managed to find time in almost every run in Qualifying; I just had to put everything together in Q3. I was able to get a really good lap in on the second run and it was enough for pole, so I’m happy,” said Bottas.
Ferrari’s struggles continue as Sebastian Vettel and teammate Kimi Raikkonen were only able to make the second row in third and fourth.
Once again Vettel finds himself behind the eight ball in what is a must win for the German driver if he is to stop the hemorrhaging of points to title rival Hamilton.
Haas’ Kevin Magnussen finished fifth ahead of the Force India of Esteban Ocon in sixth. Charles Leclerc will start seventh after putting on another impressive qualifying result for Sauber. Ocon’s Force India teammate Sergio Perez will start eighth with the second Haas of Romain Grosjean ninth.
Leclerc’s teammate Marcus Ericsson took the final points paying position for the first time this season for Sauber.
Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo qualified outside the top ten in 11th and 12th but will will be moved to the back of the grid after their engine penalties are applied.
Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly will also be moved to the back of the grid after qualifying 13th.
As the grid is reshuffled, Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg will now start 11th and 12th for Renault with Brendon Hartley joining his Toro Rosso teammate at the back of the grid after taking up additional power unit elements.
This will continue to reshuffle the grid promoting Sergey Sirotkin to 13th followed by McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne, who will move up to 14th.
Sirotkin’s Williams teammate Lance Stroll will now start 15th with Fernando Alonso, who had also taken on engine penalties but will actually move up one place due to others who have taken penalties, will start tomorrow’s race from 16th while both Toro Rosso and Red Bull drivers finish out the bottom of the order for tomorrow's Russian Grand Prix.