Lewis Hamilton could be stripped of Russian Grand Prix pole as stewards investigate

Lewis Hamilton has been summoned to the stewards at the Russian Grand Prix after qualifying in pole position. Max Verstappen beat Valtteri Bottas to second place and stopped a Mercedes front-row lockout.

Hamilton almost fell foul of Sebastian Vettel’s Q2 crash which brought about a red flag.

The Brit was 15th after his initial lap was cancelled because he went off the track at Turn Two.

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The six-time world champion was able to record an out-lap as he crossed the line with 1.25seconds to spare before Q2 was finished.

Hamilton had another scare in Q3 when he drove into the gravel, but he is being investigated for a failure to return to the track safely earlier in qualifying.

The summons reported that Hamilton was to be spoken to about an “Alleged failure to follow the Race Directors’ Instruction (item 22.1 a) in turn 2 at 15:04:43, alleged breach of Article 12.1.1.(i) of the FIA International Sporting Code.”

Kevin Magnussen, Romain Grosjean and Nicholas Latifi were also called to the stewards.

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If Hamilton is given a grid penalty then he will lose pole position and Bottas will be promoted to second, behind Verstappen.

“It has been looking pretty good all weekend, I found good pace but Max and Lewis obviously just got more,” Bottas said after Q3.

“P3 is a good place to start and I think I have the advantage of being on the right starting tyre so it’s still all to play for.”

Meanwhile, Verstappen backs himself to overtake Hamilton come lights out should the pair start side by side.

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“We were struggling a bit to find the right balance with the car on this track, it’s quite slippery around here,” Verstappen explained.

“Even this morning I was not entirely happy but through qualifying we were really working on trying to nail the balance and in Q3 the final run especially was not bad.

“To be second on the grid I didn’t expect, so very pleased for that.

“If we can have a decent start the tow effect is very big around here, so if we can get a good start who knows what is going to happen into Turn Two.”

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