Rosberg takes pole after Hamilton problem

By on Saturday, April 30, 2016
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg stormed to pole position in Russia after team-mate Lewis Hamilton was hindered by another mechanical failure.

Rosberg set a time of 1:35.417 to take pole position in a session which did not feature Hamilton after his Mercedes suffered an MGU-H failure at the end of Q2.

Hamilton was consequently unable to participate in Q3, meaning the Briton will line-up from 10th on the grid, barring any potential penalties.

With Mercedes comfortably clear of its rivals Rosberg was effectively given a free pass in Q3 and his first lap was quick enough for pole.

Rosberg attempted to improve on his final run but locked up at Turn 13 and went wide, before returning to the pit lane.

Sebastian Vettel was Rosberg’s closest challenger, 0.706s in arrears, but will drop to seventh as a result of a penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.

Vettel’s demotion elevates Williams’ Valtteri Bottas to the front row of the grid as he finished ahead of compatriot Kimi Räikkönen, who will line up from third.

Felipe Massa will start from fourth place, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, Sergio Pérez and the penalised Vettel.

Daniil Kvyat qualified in eighth position for his home event, while Max Verstappen made it through to Q3, but was the slowest of the nine runners.

Carlos Sainz Jr. narrowly missed a slot in Q3 after being edged out by Kvyat in the second segment of qualifying, while McLaren’s ambition of making the top 10 was not met.

Jenson Button managed 12th, with Fernando Alonso in 14th, split by Force India’s Nico Hülkenberg.

Haas finished as the slowest runners in Q2, with Romain Grosjean a tenth faster than team-mate Esteban Gutiérrez.

Renault, Sauber and Manor drivers were once again eliminated at the first hurdle.

Kevin Magnussen narrowly edged out Jolyon Palmer in the battle between the Renault duo, while Felipe Nasr qualified in 19th for Sauber.

Pascal Wehrlein inched ahead of Manor rival Rio Haryanto, with the Indonesian setting his quickest lap at the end of Q1 to leap past Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson.

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