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Hamilton leads all-Mercedes front row in Baku – Qualifying Report

Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after winning an all-Mercedes duel against Valtteri Bottas.

The opening Q3 exchanges between the Mercedes duo was lead by Valtteri Bottas, who enjoyed a 0.154 advantage over Hamilton after the Briton made a mistake at turn sixteen on his opening run.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo then interrupted proceedings by making contact with the wall on the exit of turn six, damaging the car enough for him to stop on track. This brought out the red flags with three-and-a-half minutes to go.

With only one lap to complete after the red flags, Hamilton made the greater improvements to take pole position over Bottas by 0.434 of a second.

The final laps by the Ferrari drivers were enough to secure third and fourth place, albeit over one second off the pace, with Kimi Raikkonen leading Sebastian Vettel.

Max Verstappen secured fifth place on the grid for Red Bull Racing, ahead of the Force India duo of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.

Williams secured their best collective qualifying result of the season, with Lance Stroll out-qualifying Felipe Massa for the first time this season. Ricciardo ended up tenth as a result of crashing out of the session.

The Toro Rosso duo of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz missed out on a place in the top ten shootout by finishing eleventh and twelfth, ahead of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein completed the second part of qualifying in fourteenth and fifteenth respectively.

A poor day for McLaren resulted in both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne being eliminated during the first part of qualifying. Alonso finished the qualifying hour in 16th with Vandoorne finishing 19th, but both have engine penalties which will put them further back on the grid.

Haas’ Romain Grosjean (17th) and Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson (18th) were also eliminated early on in the session.

Renault’s Jolyon Palmer was unable to participate in the qualifying hour following a car fire on his RS17 during free practice three earlier in the day.

To view the full results from qualifying, click here.


Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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