Russian Grand Prix LIVE: Lewis Hamilton looks to take advantage of Max Verstappen penalty

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The 2021 Formula One championship battle continues at the Russian Grand Prix with a chance for Lewis Hamilton to snatch back the lead from rival Max Verstappen. The Mercedes driver goes into the Sochi race on 221.5 points with Verstappen slightly ahead on 226.5 as he searches for his first ever F1 title.

Hamilton starts fourth in Russia after a hectic qualifying which saw him crash into the pitwall and throw away his chances of a pole position.

McLaren’s Lando Norris instead secured the first pole of his career with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in second and Williams’ George Russell, who will replace Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes next season, third.

Verstappen is meanwhile at the very back of the grid due to taking an engine penalty for installing the fourth engine of his season. The Red Bull racer will be eager to soar through the pack to get into podium contention.

Express Sport provides live coverage of the race, which will get underway at 1pm UK time, below.

Countdown to lights out

So we’re almost ready to get underway in Sochi.

Can McLaren’s Lando Norris hold out into the first corner to stay out in front?

Will Hamilton and Verstappen make up places?

Can Bottas hold off the title-chasing Dutchman to help out team-mate Verstappen?

So many questions! And we’ll soon have the answers to them…

Changes to the grid

So Valtteri Bottas starts 16th after Mercedes followed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by taking an engine change.

Good afternoon

Hello and welcome to Express Sport’s coverage of the Russian Grand Prix.

We could be in for another absolute cracker this afternoon thanks to the way the grid is set up.

It’s been a thrilling season so far – and expect more twists and turns here.

We’ll have all the updates you need from Sochi so stick with us! The race gets underway at 1pm.

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