Russian Grand Prix: Leclerc takes fourth consecutive Pole


It can be said that Leclerc is in a class of his own in qualifying at the moment, by taking his fourth straight pole. He is the first Ferrari driver to take four straight poles since Michael Schumacher back in 2001.

Charles Leclerc was unbeatable on Saturday, by setting a 1.31.628, 4 tenths of a second ahead of Lewis Hamilton who celebrated splitting the Ferraris and getting on the front row as if it was a pole position. Sebastian Vettel qualified in third ahead of Max Verstappen in fourth, although he will take a five place grid penalty. Valtteri Bottas has thus been promoted to fourth ahead of Carlos Sainz, Nico Hulkenberg and Lando Norris. Romain Grosjean continued to prove the Haas has pace over a single lap, and will start in eighth. Verstappen will start in ninth after his penalty whilst Daniel Ricciardo will round out the top 10.

It was a fairly eventful qualifying session with many mistakes creeping through. Lance Stroll lost his chance to get into Q3 after getting a swapper in the middle sector, same could be said for Kimi Raikkonen, who failed to make Q2 after a mistake at the final corner on his final Q1 run. Whilst the major story of Q1 was Alexander Albon crashing after losing it at Turn 14 and backing his RB15 into the wall. It wasn’t a heavy impact, but it could have a major impact on both his confidence and his future, he cannot keep making mistakes like this under the watchful eye of Helmut Marko.

Here is the full starting grid with all the grid penalties taken into account.
1. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 1.31.628
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1.32.030
3. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1.32.053
4. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 1.32.632
5. Carlos Sainz (McLaren) 1.33.222
6. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) 1.33.289
7. Lando Norris (McLaren) 1.33.301
8. Romain Grosjean (Haas) 1.33.517
9. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1.32.310*

10. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) 1.33.661
11. Sergio Perez (Racing Point) 1.33.958
12. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) 1.34.037
13. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) 1.34.082
14. Lance Stroll (Racing Point) 1.34.233
15. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) 1.34.840
16. Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso) 1.33.950*

17. George Russell (Williams) 1.35.356
18. Alexander Albon (Red Bull) 1.39.197*
19. Robert Kubica (Williams) 1.36.474**
20. Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) No Time**

KEY: Green = Q3, Orange = Q2, Red = Q1
* = 5 place grid penalty
** = Back of grid penalty

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