Russian Grand Prix LIVE: Lewis Hamilton seeks to take advantage of Max Verstappen’s grid penalty and re-take lead in title race but starts only from fourth in Sochi with Lando Norris on pole and George Russell in third
- Lewis Hamilton starts from fourth on the grid at Russian Grand Prix in Sochi
- Title rival Max Verstappen starts from last place after penalty for engine use
- Hamilton trails his Red Bull rivals by five points in the championship standings
- But he crashed in the pit lane and spun on his final lap during a wet qualifying
- Lando Norris of McLaren took pole ahead of Carlos Sainz and George Russell
- Daniel Ricciardo won a highly eventful Italian Grand Prix last time out
- Follow the link for the latest Formula One news, including live action and results
Lewis Hamilton starts fourth on the grid in Sochi as he looks to re-take the F1 Championship lead from Max Verstappen at the Russian Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver will start from the back of the grid after opting to take a penalty this weekend, having used more than the permitted number of engines.
Verstappen leads Hamilton by five points in the standings but will try and charge through the field to gain at least some return from this race.
Lando Norris of McLaren starts on pole ahead of Carlos Sainz and George Russell after a dramatic qualifying session on Saturday.
Follow Sportsmail‘s MAX MATHEWS for live Formula One coverage of the Russian Grand Prix, including build-up, updates and result.
Any rain dances been going on?
Maybe in the Red Bull camp! Sochi could be soaking during the race, in which case it’s anyone’s game and tyres, strategy, overtaking and crashing could be crucial.
Plenty of black clouds in the sky…
Who IS on pole then?
Another Brit! Lando Norris, with his first pole position in his F1 career.
Fellow Brit George Russell in the Williams grabbed third behind Carlos Sainz, with Hamilton completing the first two rows on the grid.
Hamilton hasn’t won from P4 since Hungary in 2009!
Where does that leave Lewis?
…I hear you ask. Good question.
Lewis is in fourth. Well ahead of Max and well capable of winning the race.
But he had his problems in qualifying, knocking over a Mercedes engineer in the pits and spinning out of the third qualifying session, meaning he has to settle for P4.
He’ll have wanted pole…
Why did Red Bull take the punishment?
Well, the Sochi circuit allows plenty of overtaking and Verstappen was already facing a three-grid penalty for crashing into Hamilton at Monza.
Verstappen did start the 2018 race in 19th and finished fifth – so making your way up the field can be done. He’s a long way behind Lewis though…
The leader also admitted the prospect of rain – potentially sending the race into chaos – was part of his thinking. Will his gamble pay off?
Missed what happened in qualifying?
The world championship leader Max Verstappen will start from the BACK of the grid. Last place.
The Dutchman took an extra engine – meaning he is punished being by sent to the end of the queue. Really paying the price for that 180mph crash at Silverstone.
So, the F1 circus has come to town. The location: Sochi in southern Russia, previous host of the Winter Olympics and Paralympics and a host city in the 2018 World Cup.
Weather conditions are between 15-17C, with a decent chance of a bit of rain…
Hello, good afternoon, privyet.
Today it’s the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi. The Formula One title race is right in the balance.
Who’s looking forward to this then?!
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