SOCHI (AP): Lando Norris took pole position for the first time in a rain-hit qualifying session for the Russian Grand Prix on Saturday after timing his final fast lap to perfection on a drying track. The McLaren driver set the pace with a time of 1 minute, 41.993 seconds in the dying seconds of the session after switching to slick tires as the racing line dried.
He pushed Carlos Sainz of Ferrari into second place as George Russell took third for Williams, dropping Lewis Hamilton to fourth. Championship leader Max Verstappen has a penalty and starts at the back.
“It’s my first pole position and hopefully the first of many,” said Norris, who fought to keep his car under control on dry tires in the still-tricky conditions. “There were plenty of corners where I thought I might have gone in a bit hard here and it’s all going to go rather wrong, but it didn’t.