Russian GP: Leclerc takes 4th straight pole, Hamilton 2nd

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Charles Leclerc clinched his fourth straight pole position and championship leader Lewis Hamilton was second in qualifying at Formula One’s Russian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Leclerc finished around 0.40 seconds clear of Hamilton, with Leclerc’s Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel third fastest at the Sochi Autodrome.

Hamilton is bidding for his first win since the summer break and his Mercedes team is often the dominant force in Russia, having won all of the five races staged here.

Hamilton is 65 points ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas in his quest for a sixth world title, but looks to have his work cut out against Leclerc.

Alex Albon crashed out of qualifying. The London-born Thai spun at the slow-speed Turn 13 before slamming into the barriers. The driver confirmed he was unhurt.

Earlier Saturday, McLaren said the team will be powered by Mercedes from 2021, ending its association with Renault at the end of the 2020 campaign. The long-term agreement will run until at least 2024.

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