September 29, 2019
• Updates from the Russia GP in Sochi, 12.10pm (BST)• Leclerc dominates Hamilton to take Russian GP pole• Mercedes sack four over racist bullying of Muslim colleague• And email Ben or tweet @benfisherj to get in touch 11.15am BST
F1: Russian Grand Prix – live!
1 Leclerc 2 Hamilton3 Vettel 4 Bottas5 Sainz 6 Hülkenberg7 Norris 8 Grosjean9 Verstappen 10 Ricciardo11 Pérez 12 Giovinazzi13 Magnussen 14 Stroll15 Räikkönen 16 Gasly17 Russell 18 Kubica19 Kvyat 20 Albon*
*Albon will start from the pit lane owing to a change of floor 10.34am BST
It is four poles on the bounce for Charles Leclerc. The last person to achieve that feat was Lewis Hamilton, who starts alongside the prodigious 21-year-old on the grid, three years ago. The last Ferrari to do so? Michael Schumacher, which is why it is impossible to ignore comparisons between the two. “I don’t want to think about those stats for now,” he said. But, on recent evidence, he is going to have to get used to it. Leclerc continues to push Sebastian Vettel, who started the season as Ferrari’s lead driver, into the shade, with this weekend in Sochi the ninth successive time he has outdone his team-mate in qualifying. As for Mercedes and Hamilton, who remains 65 points clear of Valtteri Bottas in the drivers’ championship, the task is clear. “I’ve got to figure a way to get by that Ferrari,” he said. I can’t do it on the straights. They have too many horses. It is going to have to be like a chess game and every move has to be perfect to have any window of opportunity to swing past.” Max Verstappen was fourth fastest but was slapped with a five-place grid penalty because of an engine change. His Red Bull team-mate, Alex Albon, faced the same sanction but his punishment was academic given he crashed into the barriers during Q1. Albon will start from the pit lane, while Red Bull have also changed bits and pieces in the engine and gearbox. Meanwhile Daniil Kvyat starts from 19th in front of a home crowd.
Lights out: 12.10pm (BST)
Related: Sochi will test Ferrari revival but Charles Leclerc offers hopeful signs | Giles Richards
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