Hamilton avoids disaster

Great pole for the Briton, who was barely eliminated in Q2. Verstappen separates the Mercedes and Sainz, solid, will start sixth in Sochi.


If the Sochi classification had been an action movie, Lewis Hamilton is the protagonist who chases the bad guy, jumps into the void, defuses the bomb, saves the Queen and takes the girl. In Russia he did it heroically when, in Q2, he found himself without time to take a turn and make the cut. His first attempt was eliminated from the table because he stepped outside the limits of the track and in the second, going loose, he encountered a red flag after a strong accident by Vettel. There were 2:15 minutes left to avoid disaster (I would have started 15th) and I had a row of cars in front of me that would complicate the warm-up lap. The clock was ticking, five, four, three ... and Lewis appeared as if he were not in a hurry, two seconds before the checkered flag.

Saved the intermediate session with a very slim margin of three tenths, Mercedes is not used to living on the wire, but she reached Q3 and took out all the artillery: historical record of the track, half a second to the next classified, Verstappen; and six tenths to his teammate, Bottas. If he had cold sweats on the way, the six-time world champion only knows it, because not even his shirt was stained. For the race, however, it leaves a path open to spectacle: Max and Valtteri will start with the medium tire, more profitable than the soft one. Lewis couldn't mimic the strategy because he already had too many duties in that Q2. Also the Dutchman separates the black cars on the grid and it will be a nuisance. Likes.

At times it seemed that the poleman would be Daniel Ricciardo, his Renault was flying in the Olympic Park, and that Carlos Sainz would enter the fight for the top-4. But the second row is completed by a fighter, Sergio Pérez, with thousandths of an advantage over the Australian and nine places ahead of his teammate at Racing Point, Lance Stroll, despite the fact that the Canadian has kept all the improvements that come from factory. It's what happens when your father hasn't bought the team. As for the Madrilenian, sixth place would seem little seen the sensations in free practice, but he classified very solid, like the greats (saving sets of tires from the beginning) in changing conditions and with three tenths of income over his garage neighbor, Norris. And that Lando also has a new spoiler, better ...

Sainz will face Checo and the two Renault, the podium is not that far behind this group if opportunities open up ahead. Gasly and Albon closed the top-10, which Leclerc did not agree to. But the Monegasque Ferrari can be satisfied after getting rid of the wreckage in Vettel's car by inches. It was the German's spin, with a subsequent crash, that unleashed the madness in the Sochi qualifier. The end of this kind of film is always intuited, but who doesn't like to see a hero in distress on the brink of disaster.

Photos from as.com

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