Russian GP: Rosberg beats Hamilton to pole

Nico Rosberg beat Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to pole position for the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi.

The German driver's best time of 1:37.113 was enough to give him the top spot after Hamilton made a mistake on his final run and decided to abort the lap and return to the pits.

It was Rosberg's second pole position in a row after Japan and his third of the 2015 season.

Williams driver Valtteri Bottas repeated last year's performance at the Russian track and will start from third place, sharing the second row of the grid with Sebastian Vettel, who had to settle for fourth place in the quickest Ferrari.

Teammate Kimi Raikkonen will start fifth, ahead of Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez.

Despite not running at all on Friday, Romain Grosjean put on an impressive showing to qualify eighth in the Lotus.

Max Verstappen in the Toro Rosso and Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull completed the top 10.

There was disappointment for local hero Daniil Kvyat, who was knocked out in Q2 after finishing a tenth behind Verstappen.

Felipe Nasr will start 12th in the quickest Sauber, ahead of the McLaren of Jenson Button, who put on his second best performance of the season in qualifying, only bettered by his Monaco result (10th).

Pastor Maldonado finished behind teammate Grosjean for the 14th time this year, the Lotus driver qualifying in 14th place.

The most disappointed driver in Q2, however, was Felipe Massa, who made a costly mistake on his flying lap and finished down in 15th position in the second Williams.

Fernando Alonso had another difficult day, the McLaren driver being knocked out in Q1 on the weekend he is celebrating his 250th Grand Prix entry.

It was the seventh time this season that Alonso has missed the Q2 cut.

The McLaren driver will start from the back of the grid anyway, as he is facing a 35-place grid penalty following an engine change.

Sauber's Marcus Ericsson qualified in 17th position, ahead of Manor drivers Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi, returning to the car after being replaced by Alexander Rossi in the previous two races.

The Manor duo finished over three seconds off Ericsson's pace.

Carlos Sainz did not take part in qualifying following his heavy crash in final practice, but Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost said the Spaniard could still race on Sunday if he gets the green light from the doctors and the FIA.

PosDriverTeamQ1Q2Q3Laps
1 Nico Rosberg  Mercedes 1:38.343 1:37.500 1:37.113 20
2 Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes 1:38.558 1:37.672 1:37.433 18
3 Valtteri Bottas  Williams 1:38.448 1:38.194 1:37.912 26
4 Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari 1:38.598 1:38.402 1:37.965 15
5 Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari 1:39.207 1:38.224 1:38.348 18
6 Nico Hulkenberg  Force India 1:39.250 1:38.727 1:38.659 21
7 Sergio Perez  Force India 1:39.617 1:38.914 1:38.691 19
8 Romain Grosjean  Team Lotus 1:39.056 1:38.754 1:38.787 19
9 Max Verstappen  Toro Rosso 1:39.411 1:39.119 1:38.924 23
10 Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull 1:39.574 1:39.005 1:39.728 18
11 Daniil Kvyat  Red Bull 1:39.580 1:39.214   18
12 Felipe Nasr  Sauber 1:40.042 1:39.323   18
13 Jenson Button  McLaren 1:39.739 1:39.763   15
14 Pastor Maldonado  Team Lotus 1:39.724 1:39.811   15
15 Felipe Massa  Williams 1:38.926 1:39.895   17
16 Fernando Alonso  McLaren 1:40.144     7
17 Marcus Ericsson  Sauber 1:40.660     9
18 Will Stevens  Manor 1:43.693     9
19 Roberto Merhi  Manor 1:43.804     8

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Russian GP
Sub-event Saturday qualifying
Track Sochi Autodrom
Article type Qualifying report