The German starts from the second row with Raikkonen behind him.
Sochi – Right up to the final lap, Sebastian Vettel tried to make it into the top three in qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix, missing out on that goal by just 53 thousandths of a second. The German who did a 1.37.965 thus starts fourth, ahead of his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen (1.38.348.)
The Finn didn’t make the most of his quick lap, as he made a mistake braking for turn 13, but he was still quick enough for fifth. Pole went to Nico Rosberg in 1.37.113, who finished ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton (1.37.433) and Valtteri Bottas (1.37.912) in the Williams.
RAIKKONEN – Chassis 311
VETTEL – Chassis 313
|Q1||P7||1:39.207||New Supersoft – 7 laps||P4||1:38.598||New Supersoft – 4 laps New Supersoft – 1 lap|
|Q2||P4||1:38.224||New Supersoft – 5 laps||P5||1:38.402||New Supersoft – 3 laps|
|Q3||P5||1:38.348||New Supersoft – 4 laps
New Supersoft – 2 laps
|P4||1:37.965||New Supersoft – 4 laps
New Supersoft – 3 laps
Kimi Raikkonen: “So far, it has been a compromise weekend because of the weather and many other things that happened. Qualifying today was not the easiest one, it was a bit tricky to get temperature in the tires as we wanted in just one lap, because of the cold conditions. When the tires were working, though, the handling of the car was pretty good. In the last run in Q3 there was no time to do more than one lap, the start of the lap was ok but then I went wide and lost significant time.
Tomorrow in the race it will be a bit unknown for everybody: obviously, we don’t have enough data from the long runs, so it’s hard to know what is going to happen, but I think we should be ok. I’m sure that when the tires work exactly as we want, the lap times will be a lot different We’ll try to make a good start then hopefully we’ll have a strong race and will be able to take the fight.”
Sebastian Vettel: “I’m not entirely happy: I think that qualifying was close and third place was possible. We started very well in qualifying, needing only one lap in Q1; then… I don’t know, as qualifying progressed I lost a little bit of feeling and didn’t manage to put the lap together in the end. Maybe there’s some ideas why this happened, we’ll have to have a look at that; but to be honest it’s irrelevant because tomorrow it’s a different format, a race with many laps, so we have to see what the day brings. We didn’t have the opportunity to really change much on the car, but I think everybody is in the same situation.
Strategy is a bit unknown at that point, but we’ll try to do our best. I think is possible to fight with Williams, I believe we have a very good car so it should be a good race: I’m actually very confident for tomorrow. As for Mercedes, I think they have been more or less one second away but I also think tomorrow it will be a lot closer, I expect that the gap will be smaller, but we’ll see what we can do. If we have the chance, of course we must take it. Obviously it would have been a bit easier if we had been a bit closer to pole position. Let’s see what happens tomorrow. Today, the most important message is that Carlos is fine.”