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Lewis Hamilton crashes into pit wall as Lando Norris takes pole for Russian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton crashed twice in a drama-filled qualifying session which saw Lando Norris snatch pole for the Russian Grand Prix.

Hamilton had dominated the timing sheets throughout but when opting to change his tyres in Q3 he hit the pit wall and broke his front wing.

The Mercedes engineers were able to repair his car but he had time for just one last flying lap on the slick tyres, by which point other drivers had improved their times.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz beat Hamilton’s effort before Norris went quicker by half a second to secure the first Formula One pole position of his career.



Lewis Hamilton in the pits with a broken front wing in qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix, Saturday 25th September 2021
Mercedes were forced into making repairs to Lewis Hamilton’s car after he crashed into the pit wall

Hamilton tried to regain the top spot but pushed too hard and spun out on his final lap, hitting the barriers.

The seven-time world champion will start fourth after he was also beaten by his team-mate in waiting, Williams’ George Russell, who put in an impressive lap of his own.

After the session had finished, Hamilton said: “Twice in the wall… that’s very rare for me.

“I’m really sorry to all the team because that’s not what you expect from a champion.”

What’s your prediction for the Russian Grand Prix? Let us know in the comments section.



Lewis Hamilton's front wing change during qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix, September 2021
Hamilton’s broken front wing was carted away and replaced but the damage had already been done to his hopes of pole



Lewis Hamilton crashes into pit wall as Lando Norris takes pole for Russian Grand Prix

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Torrential rain had threatened to cancel qualifying altogether after the third practice session had been abandoned on Saturday morning.

The weather did ease in Sochi, though, and after the green light was given the track progressively dried as more and more laps were completed.

McLaren picked up where they left off after their stunning one-two finish at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza two weeks ago with Norris’ pole and Daniel Ricciardo qualifying fifth.



McLaren's British driver Lando Norris celebrates after taking the third place of the Formula One Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring race track in Spielberg, Austria, on July 4, 2021.
McLaren’s Lando Norris took his first ever pole position after Hamilton’s errors

Fernando Alonso (Alpine), Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Sergio Perez (Red Bull) and Esteban Ocon (Alpine) rounded off the top ten.

Max Verstappen, meanwhile, will start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid after a new power unit was installed on his car.

Hamilton will be looking to capitalise on Verstappen’s misfortune by turning around the five-point deficit he currently faces in the championship and maximising his points haul.

Lewis Hamilton crashes into pit wall as Lando Norris takes pole for Russian Grand Prix
Anurag Reddy
I'm a 29-year-old travel enthusiast, travel and nature photographer, Computer Science graduate, and Mass Communication student. I have seen different shades of life through traveling and lived different lives through reading. With every word I write, I travel within, and I understand myself better. Writing helps me discover myself, and that paved roads for me to choose writing as a profession.
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