October 11, 2014

SOCHI, Russia (AP) Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton will start from pole position at the inaugural Russian Grand Prix.

Hamilton earned his seventh pole of the season by beating Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg by two-tenths of a second in Saturday's qualifying.

Williams driver Valtteri Bottas was faster than Hamilton for two sectors in his last lap but then went wide in the last corner and stayed third.

Hamilton leads Rosberg by 10 points and is seeking his ninth victory of the season. He has won the last three races - in Japan, Singapore and Italy - and Mercedes can wrap up its first constructors title if one of its drivers wins Sunday's race.

''Pole is a great place to start from,'' said Hamilton, who is seeking his second championship after winning the title in 2008. This was his 38th career pole.

Hamilton is clearly a fan of this Black Sea resort and the Sochi Autodrom around the Olympic Park, where the Winter Olympics were held in February.

''This is really a beautiful place and the weather has been amazing,'' the British driver said. ''I really enjoy driving here.''

''But it will be tough tomorrow, it's a long way to turn 1,'' Hamilton said.

Four-time defending champion Sebastian Vettel failed to make the third and final qualifying session in his Red Bull.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)