F1 Russian Grand Prix 2020 LIVE: Hamilton POLE ahead of Verstappen and Bottas – latest updates – The Sun

F1 Russian Grand Prix 2020 LIVE: Hamilton POLE ahead of Verstappen and Bottas – latest updates – The Sun

FORMULA ONE is in Sochi for the Russian Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton aims to match Michael Schumacher's record of 91 race wins.

And so far he looks like doing exactly that after edging out Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen to claim pole position for Sunday's showdown.

Follow ALL of the latest updates from Sochi here..

  • VERSTAPPEN DOUBT

    Max Verstappen doesn't expect to repeat his success at Silverstone this season despite his front-row start for the Russian Grand Prix.

    Verstappen took the chequered flag at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix in July, despite only starting from fourth on the grid.

    He said: “It’s a surprise to be on the front row, that’s for sure, but I honestly don’t expect it to be like Silverstone.”

  • LUCKY LEW

    Lewis Hamilton boosted his chances of claiming a record-equalling race win at the Russian Grand Prix as he secured pole position in Sochi.

    He came through a dramatic session that so nearly saw him miss out on Q3, followed by a trip to see the race stewards.

    He took his total F1 wins to 90, needing just one win today to equal Michael Schumacher's record.

  • HAMILTON TAKES POLE POSITION

    What a recovery.

    A messy qualifying from the Brit, but it is good enough for pole.

    Verstappen is second. Mega effort from him.

    Bottas is third.

    Perez in fourth

  • FINAL LAPS

    Can Bottas do it? Or will Hamilton's time prove too much to beat?

  • HAMILTON TAKES PROVISIONAL POLE

    What a recovery.

    After the stress of Q2, Hamilton recovers to take provisional pole.

    Not only that, he is 0.793 seconds quicker than Bottas, in P2.

  • GOOD START FROM RICCIARDO

    The Australian is looking good here but has just been pipped by Bottas.

  • Q3 IS GO

    Top 10 shoot out in Sochi.

    Advantage Bottas.

  • ELIMINATED FROM Q2

    Vettel, Stroll, Russell, Leclerc and Kvyat all fail to make it into Q3.

  • HAMILTON DOES IT

    With such HUGE pressure, Hamilton does just enough to set the fourth-quickest time and is in to Q3.

    That was close!

  • HAMILTON MAKES IT

    Skin of his teeth, but he crosses the line in time for a shot at reaching the top 10.

    It HAS to be error-free.

  • MISTAKE FOR HAMILTON AGAIN

    On cold tyres he goes wide at turn 2…will he make it?

  • PROBLEM FOR STOLL

    He is back in the garage. And with Vettel in the garage too. It means there are 13 cars left in this session.

    It is going to be tight for Hamilton.

  • QUEUE IN THE PITLANE

    This is putting MORE pressure on the Brit.

    Those cars could hold him up and he will be desperate to cross the line in time to get a lap in.

  • THIS IS A BIG TEST FOR HAMILTON

    He needs to get this lap right, or risk starting down in 15th place.

  • RICCIARDO LOOKING GOOD

  • SEVEN MINUTES TO GO IN Q2

    And in the drop zone are – Russell, Hamilton, Vettel, Stroll and Albon.

  • BLOW FOR HAMILTON

    He has just set a time that was good enough for P1 BUT his lap time has been deleted for going wide at Turn 18.

    He will now need to make another attempt at a flying lap.

  • Q2 IS GO

    Green light in the pitlane and with the risk of rain, it could be a busy start to this session.

  • MEGA JOB FROM RUSSELL

    The Brit has just made it into Q2.

    He was the 13th quickest car, ahead of both Ferrari cars.

    Eliminated are Raikkonen, Latifi, Magnussen, Giovinazzi and Grosjean.

  • UNDER 5 MINUTES TO GO

    Latifi, Giovinazzi, Grosjean, Raikkonen and Ocon are in the drop zone.

    This could be a frantic few minutes.

    Especially if it rains….

  • DECENT MARKER FOR BOTTAS

    Who goes quickest while Hamilton currently P2, although he has had a lap time deleted for missing turn 2.

    That turn 2 is catching people out. There is a change of wind direction and drivers are over-shooting the corner. In turn they get their lap turn deleted.

  • QUALIFYING IS GO

    Can anyone stop the Mercedes domination in Russia? Lewis Hamilton going for his 96th pole position of his career.

    Valtteri Bottas has looked especially quick but was edged out by Hamilton in FP3.

    Keep an eye on the McLarens, Racing Points and Renaults.

  • WHERE NEXT FOR PEREZ?

    Sergio Perez has confirmed his future remains up in the air as he prepares for life after Racing Point.

    The Mexican is being replaced by Sebastien Vettel next year after the constructor, who are changing name to Aston Martin next season, announced they were dropping him at the beginning of the month.

    And Perez has said he does not know what will happen next – but his priority is to continue.

    He told Sky Sports F1: “I have no idea. But I'm very excited. Everything is a possibility.

    “After 10 years in the sport, I want a project that motivates me to give my 100 per cent every single lap, every single morning to go and train and travel around the world, I need that.

    “And if I don't find that, I may take a year out, I may look for another series, I may retire. None of them are a bad option.

    “My priority is to continue in the sport. I'm only 30 year old. I feel I have so much to give. I feel I'm in the prime of my career. But at the same time it's not up to me really. I have to see what other options are out there.”

  • ABIT EXCITED

    Renault's Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul is looking forward to an interesting weekend in Russia and backs his drivers to perform.

    Estaban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo both had a good FP3 session and finished in the top 10.

    And Abiteboul is looking for both drivers to perform similarly across the rest of the race weekend.

    He told Sky Sports F1: “It's been a good weekend so far, no problems.

    “We've been focusing on dynamics and trying to understand the inconsistencies that everyone has seen on the outside, so that will be the focus of the weekend.

    “We'll see if the car looks decent enough to have the two cars in the top 10 position, which has always been the target, so we are not changing the target.”

  • SOCHI STORIES

    Just a quick reminder of the relatively short-history of this circuit while we wait for qualifying to begin.

    The modern day Russian Grand Prix has only been running since 2014 and the race has only been won by only a single team – Mercedes.

    Their dominance over the track is frightening, with Lewis Hamilton racking up four victories and while his former teammate Nico Rosberg and his current teammate Valtteri Bottas have one apiece.

    Most memorably in 2018, this circuit saw the sport thrown into controversy after the Mercedes team ordered Bottas to switch places with Hamilton, giving the Brit the win.

    Given the Finn's desperation for his first victory since the opening race of the season in Austria, it is hard to imagine him being as compliant this time.

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