That’s it for our live coverage of the Russian GP Qualifying.
Tomorrow will be an uphill struggle for a few drivers on the grid, not least the Ferraris right in the midpack. Vettel may need to start from the back given how much damage needs to be fixed before lights out tomorrow.
The pole sitter Lewis Hamilton could have a mega fight on his hands as he may well end up in 3rd or 4th into the first braking zone of the circuit given the long run from the starting line.
Join us tomorrow, for definite this time, for live updates on the race from start to finish.
Coverage starts here on Brig at 11:30am for a lights out at 12:10pm
Lewis adds to his record of pole positions once again, great performances from Max, Checo, and Dani Ric.
Has Max put himself into contention for the win tomorrow?
Hamilton takes pole by 0.563 as Bottas just didn’t have an answer for Lewis. But it’s not the Finn in 2nd, it’s Max Verstappen who pulls a great lap out of a car that was nowhere near the front all weekend. Perez rounds out the front two rows for tomorrow.
Hamilton is up, Bottas is losing time as the lap unfolds
Here we go, the final sprint for the starting grid tomorrow. Bottas leading the pack into the final laps of the day.
Now that’s either an utterly ridiculous time from Lewis or Bottas has made a mistake. Lewis goes fastest by eight tenths over his teammate who is less than two tenths ahead of Ricciardo.
With Q3 now underway, just so you know, Daniel Ricciardo finished Q2 as the fastest driver. Been a while since we seen a Renault head a session on a saturday.
That’s the most blur we’ve seen on a Ferrari all season (see pic below) but it’s all frustation for Leclerc as he couldn’t drag his car around the circuit fast enough.
Hamilton makes the line with about a second to go. And makes it into Q3.
A whole load of stress that could have been avoided by not going wide in his first run.
Both Ferraris out as Leclerc couldn’t do better than 11th.
|13||Lance Stroll||18||Racing Point||1:33.852||1:33.364|
Hamilton at the back of the pack, this doesnt look good for the record chasing champion.
Session to restart in 2 minutes, here’s what happened to Vettel to get us here.
RED FLAG 🚩— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) September 26, 2020
Sebastian Vettel hits the barriers and brings the session to a halt.
Quick out-laps will be needed to get round in time to post final laps.
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They are lining up at the end of the pitlane, but Hamilton is still in the garage, this could be close, could we see the champion fail to get into Q3 for the first time this season?
Race to the line for Hamilton down in 15th with just over two and a half minutes left on the clock. The red flag came out just as hamilton was going into the last two corners.
Vettel lost the rear end and ripped the front-right off his Ferrari, Leclerc following behind was closer to collecting his teammate than he would have liked. Running over the German’s front wing in the middle of the track
VETTEL CRASHES RED FLAG
Hamilton pushing but pushing too hard as he once again gets a lap deleted. Bottas is down in 4th even without hamilton ahead of him.
Ricciardo, Sainz, and Perez currently the top 3.
Perez now reporting drops of rain out on the circuit, massive traffic jam as everyone tries to get space going into the final couple of corners to start off the lap.
Can Ferrari get both cars into the top 10? Unlikely
Oooh that was close, Vettel and Leclerc finish the session in 14th and 15th just scraping through to the next session but both are slower than Russell in 13th. Raikkonen makes a mistake into turn two and ends up last. Ocon pops up into 4th.
Rain threatening the sessions now, could be elbows out at start of Q2 in order to get the track at it’s fastest.
|17||Antonio Giovinazzi||99||Alfa Romeo||1:34.594|
|20||Kimi Raikkonen||7||Alfa Romeo||1:35.267|
Second run time with just three minutes to go. Sebastian Vettel out on new softs as he’s just above the danger zone in 14th, and behind the Williams of Russell.
Ocon down in 16th and needing something solid here to stay in qualifying.
The champion stays out on the used rubber and is just 0.327 off pole currently occupied by Bottas.
Just a tad off line there Lewis.
Hamilton having to go again as a mistake at turn two has seen his lap-time deleted.
Both Williams and both HAAS drivers also get a rap on the knuckles and have to go again to register a lap-time.
Green light at the start of the session, George Russell is the first to hit the track in anger.
Talking of experience, Lewis Hamilton will be looking to equal Schumachers record of 91 wins that we all thought unmatchable if he takes the flag tomorrow. This might not be a saturday he wants to be on top though given the disadvantage of leading the pack down that mega long straight tomorrow.
One of those keen to finish the season on a high and grab a seat for next year will be Checo Perez.
The man who has, some would say unfairly, lost his seat to a struggling Sebastian Vettel for next year. Will be looking to show all those in the market for an experienced pilot at the helm that he is their man.
Welcome back to another Formula One weekend on the crazy ride to the title in 2020.
Apologies for the lack of coverage on the Tuscan GP two weeks ago, but technical issues meant the site was down for the weekend.
In case you need a reminder, the Tuscan GP was a Wham, Bam, Thank you Ham sort of affair as two red flags, three standing starts, half the grid not making the end, and some heart in mouth crashes. Like the one below from Carlos Sainz’s point of view.
Russia will be a much tamer kind of race no matter what happens compared to Tuscany. But with titles to be won, records to be broken, and seats to be claimed for next year. There should be no shortage of action as the pressure starts to build in the second half of this insane season.