October 23, 2021, 23:05

Russian GP Qualifying: Lando Norris takes epic first F1 pole as Lewis Hamilton crashes twice at Sochi

Russian GP Qualifying: Lando Norris takes epic first F1 pole as Lewis Hamilton crashes twice at Sochi

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Lewis Hamilton suffered damage to his front front wing after hitting the wall in the pit lane during qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton suffered damage to his front front wing after hitting the wall in the pit lane during qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix.

McLaren’s Lando Norris secured an incredible first F1 pole position after a chaotic end to a wet-dry Russian GP qualifying, as Carlos Sainz and George Russell also finished in the top three while big favourite Lewis Hamilton was made to rue a pit-lane crash and a spin on his final lap.

Hamilton will only start fourth for Sunday’s race as, in dramatic circumstances, he failed to capitalise on title rival Max Verstappen’s engine penalty.

The world champion had been in control of a damp Sochi shootout before the field gambled onto soft tyres at the end of Q3 – and Hamilton hit the wall when driving slowly through the pits, and broke his front wing.

Mercedes were able to repair his car but Hamilton then only had one lap on the slick tyres in difficult drying conditions, while other drivers were able to build up to one final flying effort.

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Lando Norris takes his first ever pole position ahead of tomorrow’s race at the Russian Grand Prix. Lando Norris takes his first ever pole position ahead of tomorrow’s race at the Russian Grand Prix.

Sainz was the first driver to overhaul Hamilton, who had provisional pole, before Norris then stormed through to top qualifying for the first time in his dazzling young F1 career, beating the Ferrari by half a second.

“It feels amazing,” said Norris after backing up McLaren’s Italian GP win in style

In more surprise scenes, Russell displayed his qualifying brilliance in the Williams once again by pipping Hamilton – his team-mate at Mercedes next year – with an epic late surge.

Hamilton, lacking grip in his tyres, wasn’t improving on his last lap and then spun and nudged into the wall in the final sector.

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Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz and George Russell talk us through their qualifying session at the Russian Grand Prix. Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz and George Russell talk us through their qualifying session at the Russian Grand Prix.

“Twice in the wall… that’s very rare for me,” said Hamilton. “I’m really sorry to all the team because that’s not what you expect from a champion.”

He is still set to start Sunday’s race 16 places ahead of Verstappen, who didn’t post a time in qualifying and leads the championship by five points, but missed out on a big opportunity to dominate the weekend from pole.

More to follow.

Source: skysports.com

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