Nico Rosberg will start the 2016 Russian Grand Prix as favourite, with the German emerging fastest in the qualifying session, which helped him grab pole position for the race that takes place on Sunday. However, his Mercedes teammate and defending champion Lewis Hamilton once again suffered an engine failure during the qualifying session on Saturday.
The tragic event will mean Hamilton will start in 10th place on Sunday in Sochi during the Russian Grand Prix. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who was the second-fastest in qualifying, will have to start from at least the seventh place as the driver will be handed a five-place grid penalty as well.
At present, the Russian Grand Prix is there for Rosberg to win, and the way he has started the season — winning all the races so far — the German should not have any problem in getting past the chequered flag first. The Mercedes driver is focused on getting his job done in Sochi, but still expects competition from quality drivers in the F1.
"I was just focused on myself out there and really going for it and feeling great about it. It was really going really well today. From Q2 onwards it just felt awesome. Of course the others have been unfortunate today, extremely unfortunate, and that makes my race a little bit easier tomorrow, but an F1 race is never easy," the F1 official website quoted Rosberg as saying.
"Of course even from where Sebastian is, where Kimi is and with Valtteri behind the opposition is still there and so still need to keep focused and get the job done as good as possible."
Rosberg's competitor, Vettel, is not too perturbed with the grid penatly, as he believes the 2016 F1 season is still a long way from over, and wants to focus on earning as many points as possible for Ferrari.
"So I think we have to wait and see, but you know, now it's still April, tomorrow is May, it's a long, long way to go, so it's a long championship. At the moment I think it's important to do your best to get the maximum points every single time and the rest you'll find out anyways," Vettel said.
Though the focus will primarily be on Vettel and Hamilton besides Rosberg, one cannot turn a blind eye on Williams' Valtteri Bottas, who was the third-fastest in qualifying. Besides the above-mentioned drivers, Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, Red Bulls' Daniel Ricciardo and Force India's Sergio Perez will fight to finish on the 2016 Russian Grand Prix's podium.
Where to watch 2016 Russian Grand Prix:
The race is scheduled for 3 p.m. local time, 5:30 p.m. IST, 8 a.m. EST on Sunday.
|India||Star Sports 4, Star Sports HD 4|
|United Kingdom||Sky Sports F1|
|Middle East and North Africa||Bein Sports Arabia|
|Germany, Italy||Sky Sport|
|India||Star Sports Online|
|US||NBC Sports Online|
|UK||Watch Sky Sports|
|Middle East||BeIN Sports Connect|
|Asia||Fox Sports Online|
|Italy||Sky Go Italy|
|Germany||Sky Go Germany|