Formula One drivers' championship leader Sebastian Vettel claimed his first pole position of the season as Ferrari ended a nine-year wait to lock out the front row at the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi. The German is joined by teammate Kimi Räikkönen, leaving Mercedes duo Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton in their wake ahead of the fourth race of the 2017 season.

The Silver Arrows pair will start in third and fourth respectively after a dramatic qualifying session which provides another twist to a fascinating year. Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Felipe Massa of Williams are on the third row, following by Max Verstappen, Nico Hülkenberg, Sergio Pérez and Esteban Ocon.

But the headlines belong to Ferrari who secure their first qualifying one-two since the French Grand Prix in 2008. Vettel secures his 47th pole of his career and first of a campaign in which he has already claimed two race wins.

"I had a good start to the qualifying session this afternoon and I was feeling good," said Vettel. "In Q2 I lost the rhythm and it went wrong. In Q3 it was not really tidy and I left it until the end. I got a good lap in and made up some time. We knew it would be tight and I knew that I would be first to cross the line.

"The car was phenomenal this afternoon. It really is a pleasure to take a seat and go around with low fuel and try and push it. If you have rhythm here it feels fantastic so I am glad that I got it back. Big thanks to the team. It is a great result for us to have both cars on the front row. It is only half the job, the main job is tomorrow but for now it is an important step. It's a good result and I am sure everyone is happy and proud.

"I think we had a good start to the season. Obviously in qualifying in Mercedes has been very strong. We are in front and that is all that matters. I am sure it will be very close tomorrow. We are very happy that we are back and try and take the momentum into tomorrow."

Sebastian Vettel
Vettel starts on pole for the first time this season as Ferrari locked out the front row. Reuters