Lando Norris on pole position in Russian Grand Prix qualifying, as Lewis Hamilton spins

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McLaren's Lando Norris, McLaren's driver, took pole position at the Russian Grand Prix in thrilling rain-affected qualifying.

After crashing in the pitlane midway through the final sessions, Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes was fourth. He spun on his final lap as drivers were forced to take risks with slick tires in the closing stages.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari's Ferrari driver, and George Russell, Williams' driver, took advantage Hamilton's mistake to climb into second and third place.

McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo came fifth, ahead of Alpine's Fernando Alonso.

It was a dramatic ending to a session, which at one point earlier in the day seemed unlikely to happen. The heavy rain that began overnight and continued into the morning at Sochi's Black Sea resort was so heavy that it was almost impossible for the session to end.

It was a missed opportunity for Mercedes. Hamilton's title rival Max Vertappen started from the back of grid due to a penalty for too many engines.

Hamilton: What happened?

Hamilton will try to capitalize on Verstappen’s low starting position to reclaim ground at the championship, where he is trailing Verstappen by five points.

He did however hinder his chances of winning when he tried to oversteer as he entered the pit lane to change from untreated slick tyres to the last session, which was five minutes left.

The car smashed into the wall to the left and caused chaos in the Mercedes pit.

Hamilton's wing was being changed by mechanics, but Hamilton's newly fitted slick tires lost temperature in the cold, damp conditions. Teammate Valtteri bottas was waiting behind Hamilton.

Mercedes eventually pushed Hamilton to the side, so Bottas could be serviced first before the car was repaired by the seven-time champion.

Hamilton lost his temperature due to the delay. He complained about a lackluster grip at Turn 16 and lost control, failing to improve upon the time he had set for intermediate tyres earlier.

The BBC Sport website has audio and text commentary for the Russian Grand Prix.

Norris wins maiden pole

Norris's pole was a redemption for Briton who crashed in qualifying in the wet in Belgium last week, when he looked at the top spot.

Norris, already one of the best McLaren drivers of the year, finished his final lap 0.57 seconds faster than Sainz to win a massive maiden pole.

Norris stated, "It feels incredible. I don't know how to describe it. It was quite a mad session. You don't know when you will get your pole. "I'm very happy."

Sainz regretted not being able to complete his lap on a track getting dryer by the second.

It was very difficult qualifying, but I was able to see that the slick was coming into play after Q2. The slicks were brought up to temperature by us. Unfortunately, I was not able to fully utilize the conditions because I was the first one across the line.

Russell's third place finish for Williams is a testament to his outstanding performance in Belgium, where he finished second behind Max Verstappen of Red Bull, also in the rain.

Due to torrential rains in Sochi, the final practice was cancelled

Alonso also impressed - fourth fastest in wetter qualifying. The Alpine couldn't match the faster cars on the track as it dried but the veteran Spaniard was well ahead of Esteban Ocon throughout.

Bottas was seventh behind Red Bull's Sergio Perez, Aston Martin's Lance Stroll and Ocon.

Verstappen is joined by Charles Leclerc from Ferrari and Williams' Nicholas Latifi at the back of grid, who both have engine penalties.

They did not attempt to optimize their qualifying performance.