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No Russian roulette for Ferrari thanks to first front-row lockout in 9 years

Mercedes’ run of 18 consecutive pole positions was brought to an end as Ferrari claimed a 1-2, headed by Sebastian Vettel.

Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.
Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

FERRARI CLAIMED THEIR first front-row lockout in nine years as championship leader Sebastian Vettel secured pole position for the Russian Grand Prix ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

Vettel, a winner in two of the first three races this term, produced a fastest lap of one minute and 33.194 seconds in Sochi on Saturday to top qualifying for the first time since the 2015 Singapore GP.

And in a significant boost for the German, it was Raikkonen who went second-fastest, just 0.059secs behind his Ferrari colleague.

Valtteri Bottas (+0.095s) was the quickest of the Mercedes drivers in third, but Lewis Hamilton — Vettel’s closest challenger in the drivers’ standings — was more than half a second off the pace in fourth.

Ferrari last claimed a 1-2 in qualifying back at the 2008 French GP, when Raikkonen and Felipe Massa were first and second, while a Mercedes driver had taken pole in 18 successive races prior to this weekend.

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