Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
FP1 in
26 days
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
49 days
09 May
Next event in
67 days
23 May
Race in
84 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
98 days
13 Jun
Race in
105 days
27 Jun
Race in
119 days
04 Jul
Next event in
123 days
18 Jul
Race in
140 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
154 days
29 Aug
Race in
182 days
05 Sep
Race in
189 days
12 Sep
Race in
196 days
26 Sep
Race in
210 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
214 days
10 Oct
Race in
224 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
238 days
31 Oct
Race in
245 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
266 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
280 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
287 days

Hamilton: Sochi qualifying "horrible" after Q2 dramas

Lewis Hamilton found qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix "horrible" after a laptime deletion saw him come within a second of being knocked out in Q2.

shares
comments

Hamilton swept to the 96th pole position of his F1 career on Saturday at the Sochi Autodrom, beating Red Bull's Max Verstappen by over half a second in the final stage of qualifying.

But Hamilton was fortunate to make it that far after barely making it across the line in time to set a lap in Q2 after his initial effort was scrubbed.

The stewards deleted Hamilton's first lap in Q2 after he ran wide at Turn 18, prompting Mercedes to bring him in and opt for a second run on the medium compound tyre instead of keeping him out.

A red flag caused by a crash for Sebastian Vettel forced Hamilton to abandon his second run, and left him up against it to get a lap time on the board with just 2m15s left on the clock.

Hamilton crossed the line with one second to spare before going fourth with his lap on the soft tyre to make it into Q3, where he subsequently took pole position for the eighth time in 10 races.

"It was one of the worst qualifying sessions," Hamilton said. "It was horrible. Heart in your mouth, the whole way. The first one, I got the time taken away obviously, which is the first time I've gone wide there the whole weekend.

"I wanted to stay out and do another lap just to get a banker, but they said come in and get new tyres, and then the red flag came out.

"It was a real risk once we got out on that next tyre at the end, and ultimately I'm starting on the soft tyre which is not good."

Hamilton will start ahead of Verstappen and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas on the grid tomorrow, but feared he would be powerless to stop them from passing on the long run to the first braking zone at Turn 2.

"It's nice being on pole, but here's probably the worst place to be on pole with the draggier cars this year," Hamilton said.

"Undoubtedly I'm most likely to get dragged past tomorrow. The guys I'm racing against, they are both on the medium tomorrow, so it's definitely going to make it hard to win the race.

"But nonetheless, I'm going to stay positive, try and figure out how can navigate my way through, get a good start, whatever it may be, and we'll see."

Related video

Russian GP: Hamilton beats Verstappen to pole by 0.5s

Previous article

Russian GP: Hamilton beats Verstappen to pole by 0.5s

Next article

Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix – How to watch, start time & more

Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix – How to watch, start time & more
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Russian GP
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Author Luke Smith
How McLaren F1’s new investors have already made an impact Prime

How McLaren F1’s new investors have already made an impact

The deal McLaren concluded with MSP Sports Capital last year which will help the cash-strapped Formula 1 team pay for much-needed infrastructure upgrades, also points toward the future for F1 itself, says GP Racing's Stuart Codling.

Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game Prime

Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game

In a pre-season where Red Bull has been unusually quiet, Max Verstappen has also been guarded about the team's fortunes in 2021. Even after trying the RB16B for the first time at Silverstone, the Dutchman was careful to manage expectations

Formula 1
Feb 26, 2021
The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes Prime

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes

In the strategy for grand prix racing's future, 2021 represents a significant step towards the goal of closer racing and a more level playing field. That's the theory behind the latest raft of changes, but will they have the desired effect?

Formula 1
Feb 24, 2021
What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch Prime

What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch

Red Bull made no secret of the fact its 2021 F1 car is an evolution of its predecessor, but in keeping the same foundations while hiding some tightly-guarded updates with its RB16B, the team aims to avoid suffering the same pitfalls of previous years

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo Prime

How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo

Alex Albon has faced the media for the first time since he lost his Red Bull drive at the end of 2020 and dropped out of a Formula 1 race seat altogether. He has a history of bouncing back from setbacks, so here's what he must do to rise again

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates Prime

Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates

Carlin has helped guide enough drivers to Formula 1 to fill out an entire grid, plus a handful of reserves, to create a remarkable alumni list. With Yuki Tsunoda set to join that group, Motorsport.com has ranked its graduates to grace the grand prix scene...

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans Prime

Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans

Alfa Romeo launched its C41 with a revised front nose, but there's little to suggest it will surge up the leaderboard in 2021. As the team frankly admits, it's putting its eggs in the basket labelled 2022 and hoping to hold the eighth place it earned last year

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse Prime

Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse

Red Bull opted not to re-sign Pierre Gasly even before it decided to drop Alex Albon and so the Frenchman's Formula 1 journey will continue at AlphaTauri. This has positive and negative connotations for one of last season's star performers.

Formula 1
Feb 20, 2021