Lewis Hamilton takes pole for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position for Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the Baku City Circuit. It is his 66th career pole position, moving him into second on the all-time list ahead of Ayrton Senna on 65. Michael Schumacher has 68.
Hamilton has won two out of the past three races from pole position.
Q3 was interrupted by a red flag with three and a half minutes to go when Daniel Ricciardo hit the wall. This set the drivers up for a one-lap shootout at the end of Q3 with which to try and beat Valtteri Bottas’ provisional pole time. Hamilton was able to edge his Mercedes teammate by half a second at the end of the session thanks to a quick second sector.
The Ferrari teammates locked out the second row ahead of Max Verstappen and then the Force India teammates in sixth and seventh. Lance Stroll made a career-best qualifying effort in eighth ahead of his teammate Felipe Massa.
Both Toro Rossos along with the Haas of Kevin Magnussen, the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg and the Sauber of Pascal Wehrlein were eliminated in Q2. As a result, it was just both Mercedes, Ferraris, Red Bulls, Force Indias and Williams machines that advanced into the final qualifying session.
The two McLarens along with Marcus Ericsson and Romain Grosjean were unable to advance out of Q1. This is the first time Alonso has failed to advance out of the first qualifying session this year.
Carlos Sainz drops three places on the grid due to causing a collision in Canada while Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso both drop due to the tail-end of the field due to various engine and component changes on their McLarens.
Jolyon Palmer was unable to turn a lap in qualifying following a fire in the final practice session on his Renault and so will start from the rear of the field.
Unofficial starting lineup:
1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
2. Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes
3. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari
4. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari
5. Max Verstappen – Red Bull
6. Sergio Perez – Force India
7. Esteban Ocon – Force India
8. Lance Stroll – Williams
9. Felipe Massa – Williams
10. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull
11. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso
12. Kevin Magnussen – Haas
13. Nico Hulkenberg – Renault
14. Pascal Wehrlein – Sauber
15. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso (after 3-place penalty)
16. Romain Grosjean – Haas
17. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber
18. Stoffel Vandoorne – McLaren (after 35-place penalty)
19. Fernando Alonso – McLaren (after 40-place penalty)
20. Jolyon Palmer – Renault