Vettel on pole after Azerbaijan F1 GP qualifying


Hamilton and Räikkönen miss out as Vettel stays clinical to clinch pole in Baku

Sebastian Vettel took pole position for the Azerbaijan Formula 1 Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Valtteri Bottas will start third, next to Daniel Ricciardo.

Vettel’s time of 1min 41.498sec  was 0.179sec faster than Hamilton’s final flying effort, with the top five separated by 0.496sec. Vettel will start on supersoft tyres, as will the Mercedes pair.

Räikkonen, on the other hand, locked up in Q2 and ruined his only set of supersofts for the weekend.

Daniel Ricciardo struggled in Q2 (10th) but made it to Q3 and qualified fourth, beating his team-mate Max Verstappen by 0.083sec.

Räikkonen set the fastest time in Q1 and Q2, but a mistake in Q3 set him back to sixth. His second effort was set for pole, but another error at the final corner meant that he stayed sixth, just ahead of Force India’s Esteban Ocon.

Sergio Pérez qualified eighth, 0.024sec behind his team-mate while the Renault pairing rounded out the top 10, Carlos Sainz Jr a couple of tenths slower than his team-mate. However, Hülkenberg has a five-place grid penalty having taken a new gearbox and will provisionally start 14th, giving Lance Stroll a top 10 start.

Ricciardo made it into Q3 by a tenth of a second, and as a result neither Williams driver made it past Q2 with Stroll 11th and Sergey Sirotkin 12th. They were eliminated alongside Fernando Alonso, Charles Leclerc and Kevin Magnussen.

Both Toro Rossos were eliminated in Q1, with Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly avoiding an ugly accident before Gasly took quick evasive action. Hartley was, fortunately, left with nothing more than a rear puncture.

Marcus Ericsson also missed Q2, though his team-mate Leclerc managed to finish 11th fastest in Q1.

Stoffel Vandoorne, in 16th, found himself in the drop zone after Lance Stroll’s last-ditch flying effort at the end of Q1.

Romain Grosjean’s qualifying session ended early with a gearbox issue at the beginning of Q1, and he will bring up the rear on Sunday.

Azerbaijan Formula 1 Grand Prix qualifying results

1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1min 41.498sec  
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1min 41.677sec +0.179sec
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1min 41.837sec +0.339sec
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1min 41.911sec +0.413sec
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1min 41.944sec +0.496sec
6 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1min 42.490sec +0.992sec
7 Esteban Ocon Force India 1min 42.523sec +1.025sec
8 Sergio Pérez Force India 1min 42.547sec +1.049sec
9 Nico Hülkenberg Renault 1min 43.066sec +1.568sec
10 Carlos Sainz Jr Renault 1min 43.351sec +1.853sec
11 Lance Stroll Williams 1min 43.482sec  
12 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1min 43.886sec  
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1min 44.019sec  
14 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1min 44.074sec  
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1min 44.759sec  
16 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1min 44.489sec  
17 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1min 44.496sec  
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1min 45.541sec  
19 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1min 57.354sec  
20 Romain Grosjean Haas    

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