Russian Grand Prix Qualifiers: Mercedes takes early lead as Valteri Bottas trumps Lewis Hamilton

Bottas ensured a consistent performance earning him a 40 point lead over fellow Mercedes racer Lewis Hamilton.  

Russian Grand Prix Qualifiers: Mercedes takes early lead as Valteri Bottas trumps Lewis Hamilton
Pic Courtesy: Reuters

Finnish racing driver Valtteri Bottas prevailed over none other than legendary racer and teammate Lewis Hamilton by a margin of 0.145 to take pole position as Mercedes took an early lead in the qualifiers of the Russian Grand Prix on Saturday. 

Hamilton kicked off on a high note, emerging as the faster of the two before being forced off the track after going wide during the closing stages. Bottas, on the other hand, ensured a consistent performance through thick and thin which has earned him a 40 point lead over the British racer in the title race. 

German racer Sebastian Vettel was in a dismal mood after trailing the Finnish driver by a margin of 0.56 citing that Ferrari had clearly failed to develop optimum tyres which had affected his performance. At the same time, he expressed optimism with regard to a comeback, expressing his desire to keep battle it out till the very end. 

"Maybe it happens tomorrow. It was important to get as close to Mercedes as much as possible. It should have been a bit closer but not enough to be a threat. Maybe we can turn it around, it depends on the start and then we can see what we can do on the first corner, but it's a long race after that. But for sure if there's a gap we'll go for it. "

Botas, on the other hand, attempted to play down his performance, despite finishing in a pole position for the first time in Russia. "It was a nice lap, in the end, I was able to improve on it. It feels good, takes some concentration, I'm still shaking. I'm really happy but it's only the first step in this weekend."

Kimi Räikkönen finished 4th, mounting a late surge which is a source of optimism for Ferrari who will look to make a comeback in the coming days.