His 50th pole position once again eluded him during qualifying in Sochi, but Lewis Hamilton feels starting P2 is not too bad.
Having secured the 49th pole position of his career and eighth consecutive one in the 2015 season at the Italian GP, Hamilton has now gone three races without a pole as he was beaten to P1 by Sebastian Vettel in Singapore while Nico Rosberg was fastest in Japan and again in Russia on Saturday.
Hamilton, who was beaten by Rosberg in all three qualifying sessions, had a slide during his second flying lap in Q3, but is confident he can hit back come race day on Sunday.
"I did go for my second lap I just did not finish it. I made a mistake at Turn 13," he said.
"A difficult weekend for everyone but Nico did a great job with his lap, but I am not quite perfectly happy with the balance that I had. Overall I am very happy and it is great for the team. This is not such a bad race for P2."
Hamilton started P1 at last year's inaugural race in Russia with Rosberg second, but the German nearly got the better of him at Turn 1 and the double World Champion believes we are in for an "exciting" start.
"I feel there’s still all to play for, as you’ve seen in many other races where I’ve started second," he said.
"I think it’s exciting. It makes the race ever more exciting and, as I’ve said, Turn One, it’s a long, long way down to Turn One.
"Probably one of the longest ones of the whole year so it should create opportunities. But there are other opportunities throughout the race as well."