Lewis Hamilton snatches pole from Valtteri Bottas in Baku
Azerbaijan Grand Prix - Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton snatches pole from Valtteri Bottas in Baku

24/06/2017

Lewis Hamilton took pole position at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with a remarkable last-minute lap that put him 0.434s clear of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in second.

Hamilton's advantage was all about the second and third sectors where he lit up the timing screens as he nailed apex after apex in the tighter sections of the street circuit. The pressure was on after a mistake at Turn 16 on his first attempt left him second to Bottas and it was amplified when the session was suspended to allow marshals to clear Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull, which had hit the barriers at Turn 6 with 3:33 left on the clock. When Q3 restarted Bottas was able to lower his benchmark, but it was no match for Hamilton's 1:40.593 that smashed the circuit record by over a second and secured the the Mercedes driver's 66th career pole.

Both Ferraris were a second adrift of Mercedes and it was Kimi Raikkonen, not championship-leader Sebastian Vettel, who joined the Mercedes drivers in the top three. Vettel had missed out on practice time due to a hydraulics issue in FP3, which also required an engine change that put Ferrari on the back foot ahead of qualifying. However, it was very nearly worse for Vettel as he only had a 0.038s margin over Max Verstappen in fifth when the chequered flag fell at the end of the session.

Force India followed up on its promising practice pace with sixth and seventh on the grid ahead of the two Williams of Lance Stroll and Felipe Massa. Ricciardo had to settle for tenth after his collision with the wall at Turn 6 broke the left rear wheel rim of his Red Bull.

The two Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz qualified 11th and 12th, but Sainz will start in 15th once the penalty for his first lap collision in Canada is factored in. That will promote Kevin Magnussen up to 12th, Nico Hulkenberg to 13th and Pascal Wehrlein to 14th after another impressive performance from the Sauber driver.

Fernando Alonso was knocked out of qualifying in Q1 after a mistake at Turn 16 on his final lap, but with a 40-place grid penalty hanging over him following a series of power unit changes this weekend he would have started from the back row regardless of his lap time. Romain Grosjean also failed to make the cut for Q2 after a mistake at Turn 2 on his last flying lap saw run wide. He will start 16th once Alonso's penalty is applied with Marcus Ericsson moving up one place to 17th.

Stoffel Vandoorne's McLaren is also subject to a grid penalty, but with 'just' a 35-place penalty he will start ahead of Alonso on the grid. Jolyon Palmer failed to make it out on track after Renault were unable to repair the fire damage sustained when his car stopped on track in final practice. He will start 18th, ahead of the two McLarens, on Sunday's grid.

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22/02/2018
08:00 | 2018 Winter Olympics
12:30 | Karolina Pliskova v Angelique Kerber - WTA Dubai
13:00 | ATP 250 - Marseille
14:00 | WTA - Dubai
16:00 | Caroline Garcia v Garbine Muguruza - WTA Dubai
17:00 | Lokomotiv Moskva - Nice
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19:00 | Sporting - Astana
19:00 | Atletico Madrid - Copenhagen
19:00 | Dynamo Kyiv - AEK Athens
19:00 | Zenit - Celtic
19:00 | RB Leipzig - Napoli
19:00 | Villarreal - Olympique Lyon
19:00 | Viktoria Plzen - Partizan
19:00 | Lazio - FCSB
21:00 | Marin Cilic v Gael Monfils - ATP 500 - Rio Open
21:05 | Atalanta - Borussia Dortmund
21:05 | Athletic Bilbao - Spartak Moskva
21:05 | Salzburg - Real Sociedad
21:05 | Milan - Ludogorets
21:05 | Arsenal - Ostersunds FK
21:05 | Sporting Braga - Olympique Marseille
22:30 | Pablo Andujar v Dominic Thiem - ATP 500 - Rio Open
23/02/2018
02:00 | Frances Tiafoe v Juan Martin Del Potro - ATP 250 - Delray Beach
08:00 | 2018 Winter Olympics
13:00 | ATP 250 - Marseille
14:00 | WTA - Dubai
18:00 | ATP 500 - Rio Open
24/02/2018
08:00 | 2018 Winter Olympics
13:00 | ATP 250 - Marseille
13:30 | Leicester City - Stoke City
14:00 | WTA - Dubai
15:30 | Bayern Munich - Hertha BSC
16:00 | Liverpool - West Ham United
16:15 | Real Madrid - Alaves
17:00 | Toulouse - Monaco
18:00 | ATP 500 - Rio Open
18:30 | Watford - Everton
20:45 | Inter Milan - Benevento
20:45 | Barcelona - Girona
25/02/2018
08:00 | 2018 Winter Olympics
12:00 | Villarreal - Getafe
13:00 | ATP 250 - Marseille
14:00 | WTA - Dubai
15:00 | Bordeaux - Nice
15:00 | Sassuolo - Lazio
15:05 | Manchester United - Chelsea
15:30 | Bayer Leverkusen - Schalke 04
17:00 | Olympique Lyon - Saint-Etienne
17:30 | Arsenal - Manchester City - Carabao Cup Final
18:00 | Juventus - Atalanta
18:00 | ATP 500 - Rio Open
18:30 | Valencia - Real Sociedad
20:45 | Sevilla - Atletico Madrid
20:45 | Roma - Milan
21:00 | PSG - Olympique Marseille
DERBY OF THE WEEK
Manchester United - Chelsea
Derby of the week
15:05
25/02/2018
Derby of the week
W 2.00    
   W 3.80
The odds are correct at the time of publishing
02-15-2018 07:00 and are subject to change
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