L&T Motorsport

Red Mist Decends Over Sochi

Q1 began in Sochi, the track temperature sitting at a comfortable forty degrees, as the snow capped mountains provided a stunning backdrop to what would become an enthralling session.
At the tail end of the grid sat Romain Grosjean. His Haas couldn’t give him the pace needed to escape off of the bottom of the standings. He will start in P19, with Vandoorne, who ended in P17 starting in twentieth, after taking a grid penalty ahead of the weekend. Ericsson sits in 19th, with his teammate Wehrlein in P18, after he sustained a crash in turn 15 as the clock hit zero in Q1. Jolyon Palmer also had an altercation with the barriers at turn 4, driver error causing his to spin off after turning too early.
Q2 saw Alonso finish in P15, after recently exclaiming he’d ‘never raced with such little power’ in his McLaren. Sainz will start P14, after a 3 place grid penalty demoted him from 11th. Magnussen will start in P13, behind local boy Danii Kvyat, who will want to make amends for last years fiasco here in Sochi. Lance Stroll failed to outqualify Massa again, and will start in 11th.
The final session saw a shootout worthy of Hollywood. It was pretty clear it would be either the Brackley-based Mercedes of the Maranello-Based Ferrari occupying the top 4 places, sticking with recent form. At the other end of the top 10 sit the Force India’s of Perez and Ocon in P9 and P10 respectively. The stand-alone Renault in Q3, Nico Hulkenberg managed P8, a decent finish for the team. Verstappen didn’t shine as usual, and will start in seventh behind the Williams of the un-retired Felipe Massa. Flying Aussie Ricciardo sits just outside the top 4, and claims the ‘best of the rest’ award this afternoon, behind the Ferrari and Mercedes duel.
With the chequered flag flying, all four of the remaining drivers were on flying laps, providing tantalising excitement, with Raikkonen leading Vettel up until the very last. It was the German, however, who snatched pole. 1:33.194 for the Scuderia’s number 5. For the first time since Magny Cours in 2008, Ferrari locked out the front row. Raikkonen sitting just behind Vettel, after failing to improve. Bottas remains unbeaten by teammates in Sochi and will start in P3, with Hamilton in P4. Last time Vettel started on pole, Singapore 2015, he went on to take the chequered flag in first. It will certainly offer a good battle for Sunday. Follow it all at L&T Motorsport.

%d bloggers like this: