McLaren maintains momentum after the huge one-two achieved by Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris in Monza. The young British driver has starred today in an outstanding performance in the classification of the Russian Grand Prix and has signed the first pole position of his life in Formula 1. Norris has left his former partner without a prize Carlos Sainz, who had placed himself on provisional pole after an exceptional last lap but ended up giving up almost half a second compared to the time of Country (1,41,993).
“It was a very complicated qualifying but we had a good strategy warming up the slicks and we took the opportunity. The race will be another story but we hope to have fun and be competitive,” he explained Sainz, which continues to grow by leaps and bounds in his first year at Ferrari.
The first two runs, with the track wet from the torrential rain that had been unloaded in the morning, were disputed on intermediate tires. But in the middle of Q3 George Russell He has decided to ride slicks and everyone has copied his strategy. The rush has caused a touch of Hamilton with the wall at the entrance to the pitlane. The Englishman had to change the front wing and when he returned to the track he did not have time to warm up the Pirellis and ended with a spin that left him with no options for pole position.
Lewis he has not been able to overcome the one who will be his partner in 2022, George Russell, who finished third with the modest Williams. The seven-time champion will come fourth and aim for his 100th victory in Russia, a historic barrier that has resisted him in recent weeks but which this time seems viable. He has everything going for it at the Sochi circuit, in which Mercedes has invariably prevailed since 2014. This Saturday, Hamilton He was the fastest in Q1 and Q2 and he made it clear that his pace allows him to aspire to the maximum on a track where overtaking is possible.
Five points behind the leader Max verstappen In the World Cup, the Briton needs to make the most of his advantage and that of Mercedes in Russia, since dutch He will start last in the race but will have a new engine to tackle the final stretch of the season. There are eight major prizes left and the championship is ‘red hot’.
The sun came out
Qualifying started on time (2pm) after torrential rains had forced the third F1 free trials and the second scheduled F3 race to be suspended, also postponing the F2 race. With the track still wet, the drivers have opted to start on intermediate tires, except Fernando Alonso and just start, some, like Sergio Pérez and Antonio Giovinazzi they have starred in the first outings on the track.
In these conditions and knowing that tomorrow he will start last on the grid after completely changing the power unit of his Red Bull, the leader of the World Championship Max verstappen has terminated its participation early and has been the first eliminated in the screening, along with Giovinazzi and Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) and the two Haas de Mazepin and Mick Schumacher. In Q2 they have fallen Vettel (Aston Martin), for just 5 hundredths, Gasly and Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri) and the Ferrari of Leclerc, although the Monegasque, as in the case of Verstappen, also carries a penalty for resorting to the fourth engine and will start at the back of the grid.
The end has been high tension and when it seemed that Hamilton was going to add another pole for Mercedes in Russia, the tire strategy, going all to slicks, and the final momentum of Sainz and Norris It gave him the point of excitement, with a great pole for the British McLaren driver and Sainz completing a totally unexpected first row of the grid. Fernando Alonso has also starred in an outstanding classification and tomorrow will start fifth after Ricciardo and Hamilton.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.