Report – Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen will line up on the fourth row of the grid for the Russian Grand Prix in their F14 Ts. The two Scuderia drivers were closely matched for all three parts of qualifying and by the end of Q3 just 62 thousandths separated them. Pole went to Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes, the Englishman’s 38th and his team’s 32nd.

Both Ferrari drivers had no problem getting through Q1, with the Finn seventh, 0.150 tenths ahead of the Spaniard. Q2 was more difficult, because as the track continued to rubber in the fight was on right to the very end of the session. Alonso got through to Q3 in eighth spot, beating Raikkonen by just 50 thousandths.

In the final part, thanks to the very low tyre degradations, almost all the drivers stayed on track from start to finish. Fernando’s eighth place came with a 1.39.709, while Kimi secured ninth with a 1.39.771. They start alongside one another on row 4 because sixth placed Kevin Magnussen gets a penalty for changing his gearbox.

Final Times:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m38.513s
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m38.713s 0.200s
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m38.920s 0.407s
4 Jenson Button McLaren/Mercedes 1m39.121s 0.608s
5 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1m39.277s 0.764s
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m39.635s 1.122s
7 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m39.709s 1.196s
8 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m39.771s 1.258s
9 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso/Renault 1m40.020s 1.507s
10 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull/Renault 1m40.052s
11 Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Mercedes 1m39.629s
12 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m40.163s
13 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber/Ferrari 1m40.536s
14 Adrian Sutil Sauber/Ferrari 1m40.984s
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Renault 1m41.397s
16 Marcus Ericsson Caterham/Renault 1m42.648s
17 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m40.058s
18 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m43.064s
19 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham/Renault 1m43.166s
20 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Renault 1m43.205s
21 Max Chilton Marussia/Ferrari 1m43.649s

** Magnussen, Hulkenberg and Maldonado have had five-place penalties applied


Kimi Raikkonen: “After a difficult Friday, things went better today, the car has improved a lot thanks to a series of changes that worked and we had a good pace. Sure, we can’t claim to have ended up where we would have liked, but compared to the start of the weekend, we have made a step forward and this makes me confident for the race. Today, it wasn’t easy to put a quick lap together because I still have some difficulties with the front end, especially in the final sector, but tomorrow we will try our hardest to be in the game and make up some places.”

Kimi: without Mercedes engine, passing will be tricky“It depends on the car. As we’ve seen at other circuits some of the Mercedes cars can overtake more easily than us. Probably we will make one [pit] stop or maybe two, but it’s too early to say until the beginning of the race tomorrow. At least yesterday [in practice] it was not easy to overtake; I kept following cars and getting close but there was no way to get around it. Without a Mercedes engine it will not be very easy. Obviously we have DRS but if the cars are not close behind each other then it makes no difference to anyone. We have to see. It’s obviously not where we want to be, we want to be at the front. But the speed is more or less there. The car was not ideal but much better than yesterday. We still have some difficulties trying to get the front working and a combination with the rear. It is what it is and we got more or less the most out of it. Obviously it is not a happy place to be, but at this time of the year and with the things that have been going on it is more or less the best we could have done today. Hopefully tomorrow we can improve.”

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