In a strange situation like this, itâs difficult for all the drivers to get a clean lap and in fact, only four of them managed to improve their time in the final two minutes. If we make a strong start and manage the tyres well, I think we can fight for a good result tomorrow.â, âIt was a tough day. Both cars made Q2, with Leclerc even managing to save an extra set of tyres in the process. We were able to qualify ahead of our nearest rivals, which is the main thing. "We had a good day on the whole today and it was a shame that Nicholas couldnât put his lap together in qualifying. Unfortunately, we missed our chance, so Iâm pretty disappointed, but thatâs life.
He waited for Bottas to finish his lap and then got a tow from him all the way down from Turn One to Turn Two, meaning he was already a tenth up at the exit of Turn Two. We had a very strong care, but almost stumbled over a red flag. But we're looking forward to an exciting race, with both drivers starting on different tyre compounds and a long run to Turn 2. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images), SOCHI, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Pierre Gasly of Scuderia AlphaTauri and France during final qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on September 26, 2020 in Sochi, Russia.
I don't know if we look super strong for the race despite a decent FP2 yesterday on the long runs, we look to be where we usually are. But he went one better than third, turning in a lap that was nearly 1.2s quicker than his 10th-placed teammate Alex Albon, to record Red Bull’s best-ever qualifying result at the Sochi Autodrom.
Both cars looked quick enough to progress to the top 10 shootout, but Stroll couldnât nail his first flying lap and then his car started to overheat in the pit lane while he waited for the lights to go green, ending his involvement. Q2 was hugely challenging, my first attempt was taken away for going over the track limits at the final corner. Tune in for live updates throughout qualifying, as Lewis Hamilton looks to lay the groundwork for his 91st career win, which would equal Michael Schumacher’s win record. It was so tight out there that a couple of tenths would have made things look very different for him, but we have a good race car and we all know he can overtake, so we will definitely see some action from him tomorrow.â, SOCHI, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on September 26, 2020 in Sochi, Russia. I havenât normally been strong at this circuit so to be quick all weekend is a positive. ", "I am disappointed with qualifying today. On raw pace there's no chance for us to get into the Top 10 if nothing happens, but obviously we need to be ready if there are any opportunities, we need to do our best and get them. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images), SOCHI, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Kevin Magnussen of Denmark driving the (20) Haas F1 Team VF-20 Ferrari on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on September 26, 2020 in Sochi, Russia. I had lots of traffic on the out lap of my final run. We seem to have good pace so we are not out of the battle for points yet. The first lap in the final session was really great, and I thought it would be difficult to improve, but I managed to find a tiny bit on the second lap.
The drivers put a big effort in, as did everybody, and that's what is important to me that we keep on trying.
I think we had the racing gods on our side, that we were able to make it into Q3. Two weeks after the Tuscan GP, the drivers are refreshed and ready for some full-gas action in qualifying.
That was almost a perfect lap and he couldnât quite get there in Q3.
So, it wasn't the perfect preparation for tomorrow, but we've still got a chance for either of our cars to win and it should make the race very exciting. That set up a dramatic finale to Q2 with Hamilton in a race against time to make it around the circuit to start a lap with just two minutes and 15 seconds left on the clock. The red flag at the end of the Q2 session posed an additional challenge for the teams in qualifying, with a big few surprises â especially for Lewis Hamilton, who had probably intended to go through Q2 on the medium tyre â and plenty of finely-calculated tactics.
With moments left on the clock, he crossed the line to set off on a third flying lap which was good enough for the top 10, but cost him the chance to start the race on the medium compound. He wasn’t quite able to translate that rapid pace into Q3 and while he may be slightly disappointed to have been pipped by Perez right at the end - having looked to boast the quicker package so far this weekend - it was yet another strong display from the Australian. ", "I guess it's one of those chapters where the struggle continues. ", Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, "Sometimes, it's the tracks where we perform well in practice, that prove to be the most difficult in qualifying and the race. “We thought we were a bit behind the Alfas and the Haas, so that was our main goal to outqualify them.
Albon ‘a bit confused’ by 1.1s gap to Verstappen in Sochi F1 qualifying, Why Lewis Hamilton fears he’s in the ‘worst place’ for 91st F1 win attempt, Check out the Crash F1 YouTube channel - CLICK HERE, SI202009260205_hires_jpeg_24bit_rgb_news.jpg, In a class of his own, Lewis Hamilton will continue to ‘raise the bar’ in F1, Leclerc “extremely happy” with improved Ferrari F1 race pace at Portimao, Perez surprised by Portimao F1 recovery after 'race was lost' on opening lap, Verstappen ‘motivated’ by Hamilton’s F1 win record, Mercedes explain “robust” decision to deny Bottas Soft F1 tyres, Red Bull has no plans to replace Albon before end of 2020 F1 season, Takaaki Nakagami: 'Incredible pressure, big mistake', What is Lewis Hamilton’s greatest F1 victory? Rain, a red flag and a shock result – qualifying for Formula 1’s Russian Grand Prix proved to be an unexpectedly dramatic affair. âWe were quite happy with our long-run pace yesterday but less so with the short-runs, so that was the main focus of our work overnight, trying to find some more pace without impacting the long runs. This track in qualifying is always quite difficult with everyone bunching up in the last sector and, as we saw, the traffic was one of the key points in the session, so trying to put the drives in a good position was a big focus for us. Weâve shown great pace this weekend and itâs definitely been strong with the car performing quite well. He then had to get the rest of the lap spot on, which he did and P2 was a phenomenal result with arguably one of the best laps heâs driven this season. (Photo by Kirill Kudryavtsev - Pool/Getty Images).
As for Sainz, he looked right in the fight for âbest of the restâ until a late change of wind direction hampered his progress and he had to make do with sixth as the team matched their qualifying exactly from last year. You can tidy up some things here and there to find a couple of tenths maybe but obviously the gap is quite big today so itâs confusing and we have work to do. PADDOCK PASS: All the reaction from a record-breaking Portuguese Grand Prix, FIA post-race press conference - Portugal, What the teams said â Race day in Portugal, âI had no paceâ â Bottas left mystified by lack of performance at Portimao, WATCH: Every one of Lewis Hamilton's 92 F1 wins, from Canada 2007 to Portugal 2020. On my side, Iâm happy with the result and the car was really good through all three sessions. Valtteri had been strong all weekend, so I had no choice but to deliver with those final Q3 laps. Weâre in good shape for tomorrow with both cars well inside the top ten. That lap in Q2 was perfect, so I knew it was going to be hard to improve on that.”. We have rebalanced our quali and race pace here, which will put us in a good position tomorrow. I've started third here before and look what happened, so I'll try and do the same. Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz impressed again, 3: Carlos Sainz McLaren +0.8174: Esteban Ocon Renault +0.9605: Sergio Perez Racing Point +0.9736: Max Verstappen Red Bull +1.0277: Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +1.3158: Lance Stroll Racing Point +1.4539: Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri +1.48910: Daniel Ricciardo Renault +1.508. He pulled out a lap 0.5s faster than what he managed in Q1 to take a solid 14th on the grid ahead of Vettel’s Ferrari. The scene is now set for a tense strategic battle tomorrow, which will require a bit of tyre management for those starting on the soft tyre and intending to stop just once in particular". That lap in Q2 was perfect, so I knew it was going to be hard to improve on that. Q1 is closing-in fast, lets see if George Russell can make another push into Q2 and whether Ferrari can show signs of life and avoid an early exit amid their horror-season. The tyres were just too cold.
Max played it very smart in the final lap of Q3. The team brought me in for refuelling and to fit new tyres but when I was on my second lap, the red flag came out. From the radio communications, I thought I had no margin to cross the line to start the fast lap so I pushed on the out lap and started my quick lap very close to Kvyat. Russell kept his qualifying streak alive with another spirited performance as he made Q2 for the first time since Spa.
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