Hamilton opens the door for Bottas

Bottas will start on pole for Russian Grand Prix

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas during qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas during qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

 

A rare mistake by Lewis Hamilton allowed his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to take pole position for the Russian Grand Prix.

Hamilton had been in a class of one at the Sochi Autodrom this weekend, and appeared on course to claim the 80th pole of his career.

But the British driver, three tenths up on his team-mate in the opening sector on his final hot run, ran wide at the right-handed seventh turn and was forced to abort his lap.

Hamilton finished 0.145 seconds down on Bottas while Sebastian Vettel, 40 points behind Hamilton in the championship race, qualified a distant third.

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