Lewis Hamilton blames 'over-egging' second sector for lost pole
Lewis Hamilton has blamed his over aggressiveness in the second sector for missing out on pole position for the Russian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver was just 0.004 seconds shy of team-mate Valtteri Bottas – who went on to take the pole – following their first runs, but on Hamilton's second attempt he found himself three-tenths up in the first sector, but continued to push to find time before he ran wide and abandoned his lap.
Hamilton says he "over-egged" the second sector which caused him to take to the run-off where he backed off immediately.
"Big congratulations to Valtteri, he did a great job in Q3. It’s been a really good weekend so far, honestly," said the Briton. "I really can’t complain. I don’t know where it really got away from me in Q3 but I struggled a little bit and Valtteri obviously picked up quite a bit of pace.
"The middle sector was where I was slacking, as I’d call it. [It] hadn’t been too bad throughout qualifying.
"Q1 was really good and then Q2 wasn’t so great and just generally throughout the weekend it’s been a bit up and down through that sector but been quick in the first and third.
"The first lap in Q3, I was down three-tenths in the middle sector but I was quickest in the first and last. So I knew I had to push quite a lot because I knew also he [Bottas] would gain time, so it wasn’t three tenths it has half a second I needed to improve.
"So I just over-egged it a little bit. I think I picked up a little bit of dirt on my outside tyres and then there was less grip there for the next corner.
"Anyway, it’s great to have a one-two and it’s a long way down to Turn 1 so we’ll still have a fight at least tomorrow. It’s going to be a long race, for sure."