Nico Rosberg went fastest in Saturday’s qualifying for the 2015 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix to secure his third pole position of the season. Rosberg headed Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton – who abandoned his final run after an error – by a third of a second, with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas a further half second back in third.
The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen took fourth and fifth, followed by the Force Indias of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Lotus’s Romain Grosjean, Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo completed the top ten.
Rosberg led Q2, which accounted for the loss of local hero Daniil Kvyat in the Red Bull, Sauber’s Felipe Nasr, McLaren’s Jenson Button, and Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado. The big shock, however, was Felipe Massa, who could manage only 15th in the Williams after making a mistake on one run and hitting traffic on another.
Mercedes were the only team not to use the supersoft tyres in Q1, but Rosberg topped it nonetheless. Eliminated were McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, and Marussia’s Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi. Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz did not run following his FP3 accident.
Engine-change penalties for Alonso (35 grid places) and Merhi (20 places) means they will start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid. Should he be cleared to race, Sainz will start from the pit lane.
|Russian Grand Prix Qualifying Results|
|20||55||Carlos Sainz Jr||DNS||Eliminated||43.804||0|