Two poles in a row for Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, who takes P1 at Sochi from Lewis Hamilton. Valtteri Bottas was third for Williams, ahead of the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.
"Very happy. It's been a difficult weekend because of the little running we got, we didn't get much practice. But qualifying worked out really well, I found a good balance on the car, we had to guess a bit where it was going to be but it all worked out well. I felt comfortable and got some good laps in. Very happy with that."
"I made a mistake at Turn 13. Nico did a great job with his lap - I wasn't perfectly happy with the balance. As you saw last year, this isn't a bad race to start from P2..."
"It's been a tricky weekend for everyone but we managed to use FP3 well, managed to get some good consistent laps in qualifying. Very pleased with what we did as a team."
Qualifying started on schedule after the barriers at Turn 13 were quickly fixed - they were damaged after a big crash from Carlos Sainz on the final practice. Good news was Sainz has no injuries, and will stay in hospital overnight as a normal procedure.
It was bittersweet 250th qualifying for Fernando Alonso, which was knocked out in Q1. He wasn’t too bothered by it though, as with his penalties he’ll start last place. Team-mate Jenson Button did get into Q2 and qualified 13th.
During Q2 it was local hero Daniil Kvyat with a disappointing result, finishing 11th and just out of the Q3 session. He radioed his tyres were 'not ready' at the time of his final attempt.
The shootout featured strong first runs from both Mercedes to get front row; they both missed out on their second runs and a lock up from Hamilton meant Rosberg’s pole.
Behind them, Valtteri Bottas confirms his pace at this circuit (he got pole last year) and beat the Ferraris; however it was also bittersweet for the team as Felipe Massa could only be 15th.
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||+1.546|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India||+1.578|
|9||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||+1.811|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||-|