Mercedes AMG locked out the front row for the inaugural Formula One Russian Grand Prix at qualifying today, with star driver Lewis Hamilton managing to edge out teammate Nico Rosberg to secure pole. Hamilton posted a 1:38.513 in Q3 with Rosberg just 0.2 of a second behind.

The third fastest was Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, whose 1:38.920 came close to the times set by the Mercedes AMG drivers. Sadly for his teammate Felipe Massa, a fuel pressure problem meant the Brazilian didn’t make it into Q2. He will start 18th in tomorrow’s race.

Starting fourth will be McLaren’s Jenson Button and filling out the third row will be Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat in fifth and Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo in sixth. McLaren’s other driver Kevin Magnussen was actually the sixth fastest in Q3 but drop backs five places for a gearbox change penalty.

Russian driver Kvyat, meanwhile, put in an impressive performance, much to the delight of local fans. His fifth position start tomorrow will be the best in his short career. Note, next season he will replace Sebastian Vettel at Infiniti Red Bull Racing, with the German expected to join Ferrari.

Filling out row four will be Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen, in seventh and eighth positions respectively, and then it will be Toro Rosso’s other driver Jean-Eric Vergne in ninth and Vettel rounding out the top ten.

The weather forecast is still looking good for the Sochi Autodrom, where tomorrow’s race is being held. Going into the race, Lewis Hamilton leads the 2014 Drivers’ Championship with 266 points, with Nico Rosberg second with 256 points and Daniel Ricciardo third with 193 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes AMG has 522 points versus the 332 of Infiniti Red Bull Racing and 201 of Williams. Sadly, with Jules Bianchi still in a Japanese hospital with serious head injuries, Marussia has decided it will only field the car of Bianchi’s teammate Max Chilton tomorrow.


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