Rosberg on pole, Hamilton suffers engine issue

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg enjoyed a relatively comfortable run to pole position for the Russian Grand Prix as an engine failure ruled Lewis Hamilton out of the final segment of qualifying.

The dominant Mercedes duo were set to do battle for pole before a turbo charger failure struck Hamilton’s W07 at the end of Q2.

With the reigning world champion unable to contest Q3, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel set the initial pace.

Although, it didn’t take long for Rosberg to eclipse the effort by 0.8s with a 1:34.417s lap.

The time set on his first run proved enough to secure pole while Vettel remained in second.

However, a five place grid penalty for a gearbox change will see the four-time world champion drop to seventh.

As a result, Williams’ Valtteri Bottas will join Rosberg on the front row, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and the sister Williams of Felipe Massa set to start third and fourth.

Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo will begin Sunday’s race from fifth ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez, team-mate Daniil Kvyat and Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen.

Hamilton is expected to start from 10th on the grid following his mechanical failure, which Mercedes claim to be a reoccurrence of the issue he suffered in China.

The Brit was also due to see the stewards after the session for failing to obey guidelines for rejoining the track after running wide at Turn 2.

“This is the second engine that I took from the last race and it’s the same failure as I had in the last race,” said Hamilton.

“I just went back out in Q2 at the end to get a feel for the lap and I lost the same power as I lost in China.

“Nothing I can do.”

Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz narrowly missed out on a spot in Q3 having been pipped by Kvyat in the dying moments of Q2.

McLaren were contenders to make the final part of qualifying but in the end Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso had to settle for 12th and 14th on the grid.

Button and Alonso sandwiched the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg, while Haas F1 locked out the eighth row with Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez.

Renault continued to struggle for pace with Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer failing to progress from Q1.

The pair will start from 17th and 18th respectively ahead of Sauber’s Felipe Nasr, Pascal Wehrlein (Manor), Rio Haryanto (Manor) and Marcus Ericsson (Sauber).

Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix is scheduled to begin at 2200 AEST.

Result: Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix Qualifying

Position Driver Car Time Gap
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:35.417s
2 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1:36.536s +1.119s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:36.663s +1.246s
4 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1:37.016s +1.599s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1:37.125s +1.708s
6 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1:37.212s +1.795s
7 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:36.123s +0.706s (5 place grid penalty Gearbox change)
8 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1:37.459s +2.042s
9 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1:37.583s +2.166s
10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes No time set No time set
11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1:37.652s Q2
12 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1:37.701s Q2
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1:37.771s Q2
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1:37.807s Q2
15 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1:38.055s Q2
16 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1:38.115s Q2
17 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:38.914s Q1
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:39.009s Q1
19 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1:39.018s Q1
20 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1:39.399s Q1
21 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1:39.463s Q1
22 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1:39.519s Q1

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