Nico Rosberg romped to an unchallenged pole position in Russia as Lewis Hamilton suffered a power unit issue, a similar problem to that which affected him in China.
The duo shared the honours in Q1 and Q2 with Rosberg ahead in the latter. But as Formula 1 waited to see who would come out on top in Q3, news broke of Hamilton’s power issue problem.
Mercedes tweeted: “Lewis Hamilton is out of the Russian GP qualifying. His F1 W07 Hybrid has suffered a recurrence of the China Power Unit failure.”
Hamilton’s troubles, though, did not end there.
He will have to visit the race stewards in the wake of qualifying as he is under investigation for failing to heed the Race Directors’ instructions regarding Turn 2.
This related to a moment he had in Q1 where he ran wide at that corner and the manner in which he rejoined the track.
Rosberg clinched pole position, his second of this season, with a 1:35.417.
That put him 0.706 ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. The German, though, won’t be holding onto his P2 as he has a five-place penalty for a gearbox change.
Valtteri Bottas split the Ferrari drivers as he qualified in third place, which means he will start the Russian Grand Prix from the front row of the grid.
Kimi Raikkonen was fourth ahead of Felipe Massa, Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez.
Daniil Kvyat was eighth at his home race ahead of Max Verstappen and Hamilton, who did not set a time in Q3.
1 N Rosberg Mercedes 1:35.417
2 S Vettel Ferrari 1:36.123
3 V Bottas Williams 1:36.536
4 K Raikkonen Ferrari 1:36.663
5 F Massa Williams 1:37.016
6 D Ricciardo Red Bull 1:37.125
7 S Perez Force India 1:37.212
8 D Kvyat Red Bull 1:37.459
9 M Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:37.583
10 L Hamilton Mercedes No time
11 C Sainz Toro Rosso 1:37.606
12 J Button McLaren 1:37.701
13 N Hulkenberg Force India 1:37.771
14 F Alonso McLaren 1:37.807
15 R Grosjean Haas 1:38.055
16 E Gutierrez Haas 1:38.115
17 K Magnussen Renault 1:38.914
18 J Palmer Renault 1:39.009
19 F Nasr Sauber 1:39.018
20 P Wehrlein Manor 1:39.399
21 R Haryanto Manor 1:39.463
22 M Ericsson Sauber 1:39.519