2014 Russian GP Qualifying: Lewis Hamilton holds on for Sochi pole ahead of Rosberg | October 11, 2014

FOM displayed a 'Jules, we are all supporting you' graphic on the pit straight

FOM displayed a ‘Jules, we are all supporting you’ graphic on the pit straight

Hamilton on pole, Rosberg 2nd, Bottas 3rd

Hamilton on pole, Rosberg 2nd, Bottas 3rd

Hamilton heads all-W05 front-row but flying Bottas lets Mercedes off hook; Button fourth for improved McLaren as Vettel misses Q3.

Lewis Hamilton carried through on his early dominance of the inaugural Russian GP weekend by beating Nico Rosberg to pole position in Sochi.

Lewis Hamilton carried through on his early dominance of the inaugural Russian GP weekend by beating Nico Rosberg to pole position in Sochi.

A seventh pole of the season had looked a near inevitability for the World Championship leader after Hamilton, appearing to revel in the acrobatic 5.8km layout, had comfortably topped the final two practice sessions and then the first two knockout stages of qualifying.

Mistakes on his opening lap in Q3, however, then briefly appeared to offer a window of hope for Rosberg, however, but two faster laps thereafter snatched pole back with Hamilton’s final lap of 1:38.513 enough to beat his team-mate by exactly two tenths of a second.

However, both all-conquering Mercedes cars would well have been upstaged by Williams’ Valtteri Bottas had the Finn, up on Hamilton’s benchmark through the first two sectors of the lap, got in too hot at the final corner and slide wide.

Still, third position underlined Williams’ continued strength, although the team suffered mixed emotions on Saturday after Felipe Massa was knocked out in Q1 after his FW36 suffered an apparent engine problem.

Massa’s early demise left the door open for the other second-row berth and for the first time in dry conditions this season it was Jenson Button who seized it after McLaren’s sudden Friday practice carried over to qualifying.

Underlining the apparent suitability of the MP4-29 to the smooth Sochi circuit, Kevin Magnussen claimed sixth, however arguably the star of qualifying was Russia’s sole participant Daniil Kvyat who put his Toro Rosso a career-best fifth.

Sebastian Vettel, dropped out in Q2 for the fourth time this year. 

Sky Sports F1

And they were there too.

And they were there too.

Q1 FULL RESULTS.

Q1 FULL RESULTS.

Q2 Results

Q2 Results

Lewis Hamilton leads from Rosberg.

Lewis Hamilton leads from Rosberg.

Russian grid girls ahead of today’s inaugural qualifying session in Sochi

Russian grid girls ahead of today’s inaugural qualifying session in Sochi

The name and the French flag of Jules Bianchi above the Marussia garage at this weekend's race

The name and the French flag of Jules Bianchi above the Marussia garage at this weekend’s race

The Sochi Autodrom is the newest venue to join the F1 calendar.

The Sochi Autodrom is the newest venue to join the F1 calendar.

Russian GP – Kimi 9th, Fernando eighth

Russian GP – Kimi 9th, Fernando eighth

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