Red Bull’s Max Verstappen seized second place on the beginning grid for the race in Sochi, with Hamilton’s staff mate and closest title rival Valtteri Bottas having to accept third.
Hamilton, who has a 55-point lead over Bottas in the championship, will equal Ferrari nice Michael Schumacher‘s all-time win record if he takes his seventh victory of the season on Sunday.
Pole place was by no means assured 🤯Hamilton crossed the road with simply 1.1s to spare in Q2#RussianGP 🇷🇺 #F1 https://t.co/Xw9e5LGm2N
— Formula 1 (@F1) 1601131860000
The pole was the 96th of the six-times champion’s profession however he ended the session going through a stewards’ enquiry for not returning to the monitor accurately at flip two through the first part of qualifying.
(𝘛𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘯𝘰 𝘯𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘴)That’s now 9️⃣6️⃣ @F1 pole positions for @LewisHamilton! 🤯🙌#RussianGP https://t.co/emKJHnKSM4
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) 1601129163000
The Briton additionally got here inside a whisker of not making it into the highest 10.
“It was one of many worst qualifying periods, it was horrible,” stated Hamilton, waving to the primary correct crowd of the season after a string of races behind closed doorways attributable to COVID-19.
Eight @pirellisport Pole Position Awards in 2020 for @LewisHamilton – that is two full units of tyres!#RussianGP… https://t.co/YL9J7U5Duk
— Formula 1 (@F1) 1601129014000
“You know, coronary heart in your mouth the entire means.”
The Briton was fifteenth and nonetheless with out a lap time on the board when the second part of the session was halted after Sebastian Vettel crashed his Ferrari and unfold particles throughout the monitor.
The clock confirmed two minutes and 15 seconds to go.
Hamilton had to make use of all his expertise to remain calm in the storage after which full a fast lap and safe his place in the ultimate top-10 shootout as soon as the pit lane reopened.
Job executed, going fourth quickest after reaching the road with simply over a second to spare and being instructed to muscle his means by means of, the strain dissolved.
He proceeded to smash the monitor record with a blistering lap of 1 minute 31.304 seconds.
Verstappen, who has retired from his final two races, pushed Bottas off the entrance row proper on the finish with a 1:31.867 effort — nonetheless greater than half a second slower than Hamilton.
“It’s good being on pole however in all probability right here is the worst place to be on pole, with the draggier automobiles this 12 months,” stated Hamilton.
“I’m almost certainly to get dragged previous tomorrow. Both the automobiles I’m racing in opposition to are on the medium tomorrow in order that’s positively going to make it arduous to win the race,” added the champion, who begins on comfortable tyres.
“I’m going to remain constructive, try to determine how I can navigate my means by means of.”
Mexican Sergio Perez begins fourth for Racing Point with Australian Daniel Ricciardo in fifth place for Renault and Carlos Sainz sixth for McLaren.
Neither Ferrari driver made it into the highest 10 with Charles Leclerc, final 12 months’s pole sitter, qualifying eleventh and Vettel fifteenth and one place behind Williams’ George Russell.
“I misplaced the automobile in flip two. Then in flip 4 misplaced it once more,” stated Vettel, who was unharmed. “I used to be struggling, particularly in the primary sector. I attempted to take a bit of bit extra threat.”
Russia’s solely consultant on the grid, AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat, begins twelfth.
Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen traces up final on the grid in what shall be a record-equalling 322nd begin for the 2007 world champion.