Lando Norris will start an F1 grand prix from pole position for the first time after posting the fastest lap time on a drying track in Sochi.
He’s joined on the front row of the grid by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, while George Russell completed the top three with another strong qualifying performance.
Max Verstappen didn’t set a time as an engine penalty means he’ll start at the back of the grid anyway. Charles Leclerc, who also has a penalty, did set a time as he got used to the new Ferrari power unit.
Drying conditions proved tricky as Antonio Giovinazzi spun at the start of the session, with both Alfa Romeos and Haas cars eliminated in Q1.
Russell put in another impressive display in mixed conditions as he booked a spot in the top 10 at the expense of Sebastian Vettel, while the AlphaTauri’s couldn’t find enough grip to make it into Q3.
The track continued to dry as the session progressed, with Russell the first driver to make the switch to slicks in the final part of qualifying.
The rest of the field followed, but Lewis Hamilton ran wide at the pitlane entry, colliding with the wall and breaking his front wing.
Mercedes were able to change the wing and send him back out, but the reigning world champion ran wide, denying him the chance to improve his lap time.
Provisional qualifying result:
1 Lando Norris (McLaren)
2. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
3. George Russell (Williams)
4. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
5. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
6. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
7. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
8. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
9. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
10. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
11. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
12. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
13. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
14. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
15. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
16. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)
17. Mick Schumacher (Haas)
18. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)
19. Nikita Mazepin (Haas)
20. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)