Sebastian Vettel holds off Mercedes challenge to take Russian Grand Prix pole

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Sebastian Vettel’s 47th ended a run of 18 in a row for world champions Mercedes. (Source: Reuters)

Sebastian Vettel took pole position ahead Kimi Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo and will start the Russian Grand Prix at the front of the grid. It is the first time for Ferrari since 2008 that both their drivers finished in top two.

Vettel, who had won the Bahrain GP, said that he knew it would be tight during the qualifying race. “I knew it would be tight… but obviously I was over the moon.”

“If you have a rhythm here it’s fantastic. A great result to have both cars on the front row,” added the four time world champion.

The Formula One leader, shaved 0.059 seconds off his Ferrari teammate Raikkonen’s leading time, claiming his first pole since September 2015.

Bottas, who joined champions Mercedes after Germany’s Nico Rosberg announced his retirement, said that the qualifying race is always that counts.

“All weekend Ferrari have had the upper hand, but Sunday is always the day that counts, said Mercedes’ Bottas.

Despite failing to make the front row, Bottas and Hamilton did close the gap to Ferrari, with Bottas just .095 off Vettel’s time.

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