After a thrilling qualifying session at the new Sochi Autodrom circuit, ART’s Stoffel Vandoorne has claimed his third pole position in a row setting an identical time to Arthur Pic.
Vandoorne will start ahead of Pic for the Russian Grand Prix Feature Race as he set his lap time before Pic did.
Provisional pole swapped hands multiple times throughout the session, with Jolyon Palmer, Mitch Evans and even Takuya Izawa all in the mix.
Izawa, whose best starting position before this race was sixteenth, will line up on the grid tomorrow in third position. Having spent the entire season in the shadow of McLaren development driver Vandoorne, this may be the race he can challenge the Belgian and possibly steal a win.
Palmer and Evans both shared purple sectors on their respective laps, however it wasn’t enough to get either of them on the front row. Palmer finished fourth while Evans could only manage sixth, 0.04 seconds behind Raffaele Marciello.
Championship contender Felipe Nasr had a dreadful qualifying spending majority of the session well down the order. It was only on his last flying lap that he was able to sneak into the top 10 ahead of Pierre Gasly, who finished the session in eleventh.
Daniel De Jong was up to his usual strategy of attempting to set a fastest lap halfway during the session while everyone was in the pits. However, while the strategy makes sense, it’s still yet to pay off for him as he was a second off the leaders’ pace. He ended the session second-last, 2.2 seconds behind Vandoorne’s benchmark.
Images via GP2 Media