Lewis Hamilton has said Russia is "worst place to be on pole" after surviving a Q2 scare to score his eighth pole in 10 races.
Hamilton survived a major scare in Q2 after seeing his first lap time deleted for exceeding track limits and his second ended early due to a red flag.
With little over two minutes remaining when the session resumed, the Mercedes driver crossed the line to start his final attempt as the clock ticked down to zero.
"The session was, it was one of the worst qualifying sessions," said Hamilton. "It was horrible, heart in your mouth the whole way.
"The first one I can't remember, I got the time taken away obviously which is the first time I've gone wide there all weekend and I wanted just to stay out and do another lap and get a banker, but they said come in to get new tyres and then the red flag came out.
"It was a real risk when we got out on that next tyre at the end."
To make it through Q2, Mercedes was forced to give up on making it through on the medium tyres.
Not lost on Hamilton was the fact that, as spectacular as his one minute 31.304secs pole time was, he now faces a difficult Sunday.
The championship leader will start on the less favourable soft compound while rivals Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas, who start second and third, will begin on mediums.
He added: "Ultimately I'm starting on the soft tyre which is not good and it's nice being on pole, but here is probably the worst place to be on pole with the draggier cars this year.
"Undoubtedly I'm going to get passed tomorrow and both the cars I'm racing against tomorrow are on the medium. It's definitely going to make it hard to win the race.
"But nonetheless, I'm going to stay positive, I'll try to figure out how I can navigate my way through, get a good start whatever it may be, and we'll see."
After the session, Hamilton was summoned to the race stewards for failing to round the Turn Two bollards after running wide in Q1.
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.