Home | News | World News | Nico Rosberg secures back-to-back pole positions after beating team-mate Lewis Hamilton in Russian Grand Prix qualifying

Nico Rosberg secures back-to-back pole positions after beating team-mate Lewis Hamilton in Russian Grand Prix qualifying

  • Nico Rosberg earned pole position for Sunday's Russian Grand Prix
  • German followed up on his qualifying success in Japan two weeks ago
  • Rosberg's lap of 1:37:113 in Q3 was quicker than Lewis Hamilton's
  • Mercedes team-mate and world champion Hamilton will start in second
  • Williams driver Valtteri Bottas will start in third at the Sochi Autodrom

By Matt Morlidge for MailOnline

Published: 08:36 EST, 10 October 2015 | Updated: 09:18 EST, 10 October 2015

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Nico Rosberg has sent a title warning to Lewis Hamilton after finishing fastest in qualifying at the Russian Grand Prix on Saturday.

The session was somewhat overshadowed by Carlos Sainz's huge crash earlier in the day, as the Mercedes drivers held a clear advantage over the rest of the field.

Rosberg is 48 points behind Hamilton in the standings with just five races remaining but edged out his team-mate by 0.330seconds to secure his third pole of the season.

Nico Rosberg has secured pole position for Sunday's Russian Grand Prix after beating Lewis Hamilton 

Nico Rosberg has secured pole position for Sunday's Russian Grand Prix after beating Lewis Hamilton 

The German was quickest in Q1, Q2 and Q3 and will start ahead of Hamilton (right) and Williams' Valtteri Bottas

The German was quickest in Q1, Q2 and Q3 and will start ahead of Hamilton (right) and Williams' Valtteri Bottas

It is Mercedes' 30th front-row lockout in Formula One, and they look sure to secure another constructors' championship in Sochi.

Valtteri Bottas impressed in his Williams to finish third, almost a second behind Rosberg, and he will be joined on the second row by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

'I'm very happy,' Rosberg said. 'It's been a difficult weekend but I found a good balance on the car.'

Hamilton was meanwhile cursing an error he made in Q3. 'I made a mistake on my second lap. Great job by Nico but this isn't a bad race to be P2.'

Teams hardly had any time to get to grips with the circuit before qualifying, with both sessions on Friday almost completely wiped out due to a diesel spill and heavy rain before Sainz's accident in FP3.

Thankfully, the Spaniard was somehow unharmed after the 200mph crash, which saw marshalls desperately working to repair the barrier he clattered in to.

RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX QUALIFYING RESULTS

1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:37.113

2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:37.433

3. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1:37.912

4. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:37.965

5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:38.348

6. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1:38.659

7. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:38.691

8. Romain Grosjean, Lotus, 1:38.787

9. Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, 1:38.924

10. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:39.728

- - - - - - - - - - 

11. Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, 1:39.214

12. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 1:39.323

13. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1:39.763

14. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, 1:39.811

15. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:39.895 

- - - - - - - - - - 

16. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:40.144

17. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:40.660

18. Will Stevens, Manor, 1:43.693

19. Roberto Merhi, Manor, 1:43.804

Rosberg is 48 points behind Hamilton in the standings with just five races left but was fastest on Saturday

Rosberg is 48 points behind Hamilton in the standings with just five races left but was fastest on Saturday

Hamilton was dominant last year in Russia but has failed to repeat the pole position he secured last year

Hamilton was dominant last year in Russia but has failed to repeat the pole position he secured last year

Fernando Alonso, celebrating his 250th grand prix this weekend, was eliminated in Q1 in Sochi on Saturday

Fernando Alonso, celebrating his 250th grand prix this weekend, was eliminated in Q1 in Sochi on Saturday

The GP3 race was cancelled but all 19 cars, excluding a second Toro Rosso, got out for qualifying on time.

Not that Fernando Alonso needed to bother. The Spaniard has a 35-place grid penalty for an engine change in his McLaren-Honda and, celebrating his 250th grand prix this weekend, was eliminated in Q1.

While there was no rain on Saturday, the track was green and several drivers struggled for grip. Felipe Massa fell victim to that in his Williams in Q2; a mistake ruining a flying lap and he finished down in 15th.

Jenson Button meanwhile, secured his second highest qualifying position of the season. That he will start on the grid in 13th highlights McLaren's woeful year. Button has a slight chance of points finish on Sunday, given his race craft.

The session was somewhat overshadowed by Carlos Sainz's huge crash during practice earlier in the day

The session was somewhat overshadowed by Carlos Sainz's huge crash during practice earlier in the day

Marshalls and medical crews were quickly on the scene after Sainz's accident on Saturday afternoon

Marshalls and medical crews were quickly on the scene after Sainz's accident on Saturday afternoon

The grandstand that overlooks the Winter Olympic Park was by no means full, but those who did flood in were eager for home hero Daniil Kvyat to succeed. However, with Red Bull finding pace hard to come by and the Russian not happy with his tyres, he will have to settle 11th.

Rosberg had dominated all sessions going into Q3 and he was able to lay down the marker once again when it mattered.

With Hamilton pushing, the British world champion locked up midway through a flying lap and gave up, ducking back into the pits. Rosberg knew it was to be his day, but the German now needs prove his credentials in the race.

Sainz watched qualifying in his hospital bed and says he is desperate to take his place on the grid, even if that it is at the back.  

Debris flies across the track after Sainz's initial collision during Saturday's final practice session

Debris flies across the track after Sainz's initial collision during Saturday's final practice session

The Toro Rosso driver was airlifted after losing control of his car and crashing into the TechPro barriers

The Toro Rosso driver was airlifted after losing control of his car and crashing into the TechPro barriers

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