Lando Norris underlined his changeable weather prowess once again at the Russian Grand Prix by taking a stunning pole position for tomorrow’s race in Sochi – the first of his career at this level.
With Red Bull driver Max Verstappen starting at the back of the grid thanks to an engine change, the path looked clear for title rival Lewis Hamilton to take advantage and the lead in the Drivers’ standings, by putting his car on the front row at a track that has been a Mercedes stronghold.
Hamilton, though, could only manage fourth place with him touching the wall in the final session of qualifying and needing a new front nose cone, ruining his shot at a final run quick enough to take first place.
Indeed, it was his countryman that kept his nose clean most of all as he roared to pole, building on McLaren’s fine one-two finish in the race last time out at the Italian Grand Prix, with former teammate Carlos Sainz set to start alongside him in the Ferrari ahead of George Russell in his Williams, who also yet again demonstrated his supremacy in the wet/dry conditions.
Elsewhere, Fernando Alonso enjoyed a good session with him set to line up sixth place in his Alpine whilst Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez in the other Mercedes and Red Bull cars will start tomorrow’s Grand Prix from 7th and 9th respectively.
A jumbled grid for the main event in Sochi tomorrow, then, and many will be hoping Norris can convert his first pole into his first win at this level on Sunday.