Good Sunday morning, welcome to today’s Morning Brief. Word count: 930 … 5 minutes.
The big one 💥: A crazy top three for the start
Lando Norris has claimed his first-ever pole position in Formula 1. He will start the Russian Grand Prix alongside his former teammate, Carlos Sainz, and Williams’ George Russell will follow them behind in what was his second top-three qualifying position in the last 4 races.
How it happened: Qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix started on time after multiple delays and cancelations throughout the day due to inclement weather.
George Russell was the first driver to go on slicks in Q3 with the soft compound tires, with everyone else reacting and going to the pits for the same.
Lap times improved lap after lap but then the decisive moment for the session came: Lewis Hamilton hit the wall at the pit lane entry, damaging his Mercedes. Behind him, coming into the pits, was Valtteri Bottas, who lost valuable time (and his opportunity for a second flying lap) as he waited for Hamilton’s car to be repaired.
This allowed the top midfield teams to capitalize and aim for the front row, with Lando Norris being the fastest, followed by Carlos Sainz and George Russell. Hamilton qualifying fourth, and Bottas 7th.
Despite runs in qualifying, Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, and Nicholas Latifi will start today’s race from the back of the grid due to Power Unit changes.
- Lando Norris: “You never think you’re going to get a pole until you get it, and now I’ve managed to do it so yeah, I’m extremely happy. It was tough (…) and I wasn’t very confident that we were going to improve on the previous lap, but I kept the tires warm, prepared the final lap.”
- Carlos Sainz: “It was very tricky from the beginning. But from Q2 we could already see that the slicks could come into play. We had a very good strategy by coming in two laps before the end to get some temperature in the tires. This weekend we seem to be a bit stronger. We expect the two Mercedes and Perez’s Red Bull to be a bit quicker. We will try to put on a fight.”
- George Russell: “It’s crazy. I mean it’s the second time in the top three in three or four events. The team have done an amazing job once again pitting at the right time and putting the right tires on. It was tricky out there (…) we will just go for the podium again. We have nothing to lose.”
Ticktum claims F2 Sprint Race victory 🏁
Dan Ticktum has claimed victory of the first and only Formula 2 Sprint Race for the Russian Grand Prix weekend.
How it happened: The race began with a rolling start as the formation laps were performed behind the Safety Car.
The first laps of racing didn’t see much action. Bent Viscaal made contact with the wall on turn 14 and stopped, bringing out the Virtual Safety Car as his vehicle was recovered.
Then, a lap later, the car of Liam Lawson had issues with his braking and hit the wall on turn 13, damaging his suspension and stopping, bringing out another VSC.
Once the race restarted, Theo Pourchaire took the opportunity to overtake a rather slow Ralph Boschung, but he was hesitant while doing so. Capitalizing on it, Jehan Daruvala, who was behind both drivers, moved to the inside lane through turn 1 and made it a three-wide battle, coming out victorious.
At the same time, Shwartzman ran over a curb and gave Jake Hughes an advantage which he managed to capitalize on as he overtook the Russian. However, the Prema driver recovered his spot later on.
Jehan Daruvala lost his car through the inside curbs and spun, dropping down the field to 12th place.
In the end, it was Dan Ticktum who took the victory of the race, with Juri Vips second and Russia’s Robert Shwartzman in third.
Heavy rain = cancelation spree ❌
Heavy rain on Saturday meant multiple sessions had to be either postponed or canceled in order to ensure safe racing conditions.
The first significant change to yesterday’s schedule was the cancelation of Formula 2’s sprint race 2 and Formula 3’s race 2.
At the same time, Formula 2’s sprint race 1 had to be moved to a later hour after Formula 1’s qualifying. The feature race will take place today at 11:20 local time. Formula 3’s race will take place as planned today at 9:55.
Hamilton disappointed by Qualifying results: “Not what you expect from a champion”
Lewis Hamilton admitted being disappointed by his qualifying performance for the Russian Grand Prix.
- The driver classified his qualifying performance as “horrible,” and said it is “not what you expect from a champion.”
- He will start tomorrow’s Grand Prix from the 4th spot on the grid.
What he had to say:
- “I am incredibly disappointed in myself. Up until then [the mistakes], I was really in the zone and I am really sorry for all the team that are here and are back home in the factory. That is not what you expect from a champion.”
- “But it is what it is, and I will do my best tomorrow to try and rectify it. It was horrible at the end. Very poor grip and I was losing temperature on the lap. Twice in the wall. That is very rare from me.”
That’s everything we have for you this morning. Have a great day and see you tomorrow for the next ASN Morning Brief. 👋