Charles Leclerc takes fourth consecutive pole position for Ferrari in qualifying for Russian Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton starts second
- Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc takes pole after Russian Grand Prix qualifying
- World Championship leader Lewis Hamilton is second and Sebastian Vettel third
- It means the Monegasque has now won qualifying for four successive races
- Red Bull driver Alexander Albon crashed out during the second qualifying phase
Charles Leclerc secured his fourth successive pole position, dominating qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix.
The Monegasque driver, just 21, took advantage of Ferrari’s impressive turn of pace to continue his brilliant form.
He was 0.402sec ahead of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in second and 0.425sec ahead off Sebastian Vettel in a disappointing third, a week on from his morale-boosting win in Singapore.
Ferrari youngster Charles Leclerc will start in first position for the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi
The Monegasque driver will now be hoping to secure a third win of the season in Russia
Although Ferrari started the season poorly they now have a good chance of a fourth straight victory as their form has markedly improved since the summer break.
However, Mercedes are the team of this Sochi track, having won here every time the race has been staged, starting in 2014.
Hamilton also holds a commanding 96-point lead over Leclerc, the coming man, with 156 on offer before the season ends at Abu Dhabi on December 1.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was second fastest after the three qualifying sessions
Hamilton has now failed to win any of his last five races but still leads the World Championship
Alexander Albon crashed his Red Bull while attempting to negotiate the 13th corner
RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX QUALIFYING TOP FIVE
1 – Charles Leclerc (1:31.628)
2 – Lewis Hamilton (1:32.030)
3 – Sebastian Vettel (1:32.053)
4 – Max Verstappen (1:32.310)
5 – Valtteri Bottas (1:32.632)
The Briton has not taken a pole for five races, his form a little short of top notch.
But he could be pleased with his showing on Saturday. ‘Yes, get in their man,’ he said.
There was some drama early on as Alex Albon spun his Red Bull.
Luckily for the London-born Thai, the prang came at the low-speed 13th corner. His car spun round and damaged its rear as it hit the barriers.
He walked away unharmed. Qualifying was delayed as the damaged machine was removed.
Plenty of supporters were present to watch the qualifying take place at Sochi Autodrom