for Russian Grand Prix qualifying results
- Hamilton 0.2s clear of Rosberg as Bottas runs wide at final corner
- Vettel fails to make Q3
- Massa drops out in Q1 with fuel pressure issue
Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the inaugural Russian Grand Prix as an error at the final corner from Valtteri Bottas' proved costly.
With Hamilton on provisional pole, Bottas set the fastest first and second sectors on his final lap but ran wide out of the last corner as his tyres faded and stayed third. It was an impressive performance from Bottas, but with Hamilton and Nico Rosberg - 0.2s slower than his team-mate - already having completed their final laps it was a chance of a maiden pole missed.
Jenson Button was an impressive fourth for McLaren after a difficult FP3, ahead of home favourite Daniil Kvyat who delivered on his final run to secure his best ever grid slot and outqualify future team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
Ricciardo was eventually shuffled back to seventh as Kevin Magnussen also improved, but a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox chance will drop Magnussen to 11th place. Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Jean-Eric Vergne rounded out the top ten.
Q2 saw a number of big names struggling to get in to the top ten, and Sebastian Vettel was the big casualty as he could only manage 11th place, just failing to dislodge Vergne. Also dropping out were both Force Indias – with Nico Hulkenberg set to drop five places from 12th also for a gearbox change – alongside the two Saubers and Romain Grosjean.
Felipe Massa's session was hampered by a fuel pressure problem which saw him unable to make it out of Q1, even dropping behind Marcus Ericsson who continued his impressive form to qualify 17th. Ericsson was just 0.122s off a place in Q2, with Grosjean scraping through for Lotus.
Slower than Massa in the first session were Kamui Kobayashi, Pastor Maldonado and Max Chilton, with the latter two both having penalties to take; Maldonado five places hanging over from a power unit penalty in Japan and Chilton having to change his gearbox before the session.