Ferrari finally look set to put an end Mercedes dominance in Formula One this season as Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen ensured it was going to be Ferrari one-two at the 2017 Russian Grand Prix. This marks the first time in 31 races that Mercedes have not put a car on the front row and the first time they have not been on pole in Sochi. This pole position was just Ferrari's sixth since 2008.
The qualifying results comes as a big blow for Lewis Hamilton in particular as the Brit is set to start from fourth in the 2017 Russian Grand Prix as his teammate Valtteri Bottas qualified ahead of him for the second race in a row.
Hamilton was tipped as the favourite to win the world championship title this season but seeing how he performed in qualifying over the weekend, his Mercedes car is going to struggle during the race. The Brit was more than a second off the pace on his first run in final qualifying. He did manage to find some time on his final lap but was still 0.478secs slower than his new team-mate.
"I just wasn't quick enough today. Have to go back to the drawing board and try and figure out why. It was all the last sector, I was losing half a second there. Tomorrow is still all to play for. I'm still up there in the mix. Ferrari did a great job. They look quick on race pace and my race runs weren't great yesterday, so it's going to be tough. But we'll give everything we've got," BBC quoted Hamilton as saying.
As the first few races of the 2017 Formula One season came and went, Ferrari were slowly matching Mercedes for pace and now it looks like they finally have the edge over them completely. The Italian based team completely dominated qualifying and the good news for them is that it's not only Vettel who is delivering.
Check out the highlights from the qualifying of the 2017 Russian Grand Prix.
Raikkonen, who has not been performing badly this season, has received a lot criticism lately as he has not been able to match up with his Ferrari teammate but the Finn looks like he has finally got used to his new car. If Raikkonen can manage a podium finish in Russia or even surprise a few and win the race, the battle for the world championship will certainly open up.
Despite proving to be the better car on most of the races this season so far, Vettel still believes that Mercedes and Ferrari will have a close race tomorrow so it will be interesting to see how the first few laps in Sochi goes.
"We had a good start to the season. In qualifying Mercedes have been very strong. We are in front here. We managed to improve the car for this race. I am sure it will be close tomorrow. They had good pace on the long run but for now we are very pleased we are back," Vettel said.
Ferrari and Mercedes occupy the first two rows at the 2017 Russian Grand Prix. Felipe Massa split the two Red Bull's in sixth position with Daniel Ricciardo in fifth and Max Verstappen in seventh. Nico Hulkenberg had a really good qualifying session as he managed to get his Renault car to eight. Force India completed the top ten as Sergio Perez qualified in ninth followed by Esteban Ocon.
Where to watch
The 2017 Russian Grand Prix is set to start at 3:00pm local time, 5:30pm IST and 8:00am EST.
TV and live streaming information
Australia: TV: Ten HD. Live Streaming: Ten Play.
India: TV: Star Sports SelectHD2. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
UK: TV: Sky Sports F1. Live Streaming: Watch Sky Sports.
USA: TV: NBCSN. Live Streaming: NBC Sports Live.
Asia: TV: Fox Sports. Live Streaming: Fox Sports Play.