Lewis Hamilton vowed to remain positive after a qualifying performance in Sochi which left the Mercedes driver at a fair distance from poleman Sebastian Vettel.

Along with team mate Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton knew that a shot at pole would require pulling out all the stops.

By the time the usual suspects reached Q3, pole looked wide open but when the going got tough the momentum of both Mercedes’ drivers performance in the final sector appeared to wane, handing Ferrari the upper hand.

In the end, Hamilton will line up fourth on Sunday’s grid with some interesting work cut out for him at the outset tomorrow.

“I just wasn’t quick enough today,” lamented the Brit.

“We’ll have to go back to the drawing board and figure out why but tomorrow is still all to play for and at least I’m still up in there in the mix.”

  • Vettel and Raikkonen lock out Sochi front row

Hamilton was at a loss to explain why the bulk of his – and Mercedes – speed was scrubbed off in the last sector, but was cautiously optimistic for the remainder of the weekend.

“We need to look at that, that’s where all the mistakes are happening,” he admitted.

“Ferrari were quickest as we saw today and generally in race trim, so it’ll be interesting to see where we stand tomorrow.

“My goal is to try and get forward, the long run yesterday was pretty poor as well for me so I’m hoping tomorrow is better.”

GALLERY: All the pictures from Friday in Sochi

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