Vettel takes pole position for Azerbaijan GP

Ruben Holloway
April 29, 2018

"Anything can happen here and safety cars are likely", said Vettel, who had struggled to break into the top 10 on the timesheets on Friday but led Saturday's final session.

"I felt the auto was good in Q1 and Q2 but in the last segment in qualifying I had the vehicle which does what I want, not have it as in pole position but I could put a good lap together", Vettel said.

Neither Bottas or Hamilton could best Vettel for Pole today as the Ferrari driver's lap of 1min.41.498sec. was 0.179 and 0.339 seconds faster than Hamilton and Bottas' best efforts, respectively.

Both Force India cars made it into the final qualifying session for the first time in the 2018 campaign, with Esteban Ocon seventh ahead of colleague Sergio Perez.

And Red Bull are also adamant they are in with a shot for another victory, taking solace from the fact they were less than half a second off the pace in qualifying despite the difference in power.

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However, Raikkonen got out of shape coming out of Turn 16 which cost him almost a second and a shot at pole.

Hamilton, who has not won a race since the US Grand Prix last October, said: "That was close".

"The good point is that our auto was really good this afternoon so it should be in a good place tomorrow", added the four times world champion after his 53rd career pole.

Now we have Red Bull close to their best and Ferrari at their best, if we are able to pull through and deliver as we have in previous years it would be the biggest achievement this team would have accomplished.

Well on 9 points adrift of championship leader Sebastian Vettel, he complained in China 2 weekends ago of being in "no man's land". I think the circuit suits our vehicle but it suits their auto even more, so they were very impressive times.

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"In the end, I knew I had the auto I wanted and it did what I wanted".

"It will be an intense race".

Verstappen added that he had discussed matters with Red Bull's motorsport consultant Helmut Marko to fine-tune his aggressive approach to races.

"The Ferraris and Red Bulls were quick here past year".

Romain Grosjean qualified last for Haas after sliding off the track and stalling, meaning he failed to set a time.

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Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly nearly smashed into his teammate Brendon Hartley in the first session when Hartley was driving slowly due to a puncture.

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