Lewis Hamilton says he is "really grateful" to be on pole position for the inaugural Russian Grand Prix but is wary of Turn 2 at Sochi.

With Turn 1 a flat out right hand kink, the first braking zone is Turn 2 which is the best part of a kilometre from the start line. Starting alongside team-mate Nico Rosberg and just ahead of two other Mercedes-powered cars in Valtteri Bottas and Jenson Button, Hamilton admits there is the potential to lose out at the start on Sunday.

"Pole is a great place to start," Hamilton said. "Firstly, an amazing job done by the team, constantly improving and moving forward this year. Thanks to them we're able to be on the front row quite often. It's great to come here, it's a beautiful place and the weather's been amazing and I really enjoy driving this track.

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"It wasn't the easiest of sessions. [Rosberg and Bottas] were looking quite strong and just hooking up a good lap for some reason wasn't the same as practice. So I'm really grateful that I've got pole here for the first time. But it could be tough, tomorrow it's a long way down to Turn 1 so we'll see find out how that works out."

Already on provisional pole, Hamilton was told over team radio that the track was slowing down but he said it was clear on his dash that he was improving on his previous best time on his final lap.

"I didn't really hear the message that clearly so I kind of worked out what he was saying, but I was up on that next lap. It wasn't the perfect lap, I think there was more time there but it's a fine line, we're all pushing out there. It didn't feel as good as the P3 session but hopefully tomorrow should be good."

And Hamilton explained his strange spin in FP3 which limited his running was the result of him having the wrong brake bias heading in to the penultimate corner.

"I just basically made a mistake. I had the brake bias set the wrong way and forgot to reset it. I had it too far rearwards and as soon as I touched the brakes just locked the rears. Fortunately I got away with it without damaging the car."