Sebastian Vettel beats Lewis Hamilton to pole, Kimi Raikkonen blows it with late error
Azerbaijan Grand Prix - Qualifying

Sebastian Vettel beats Lewis Hamilton to pole, Kimi Raikkonen blows it with late error

Sebastian Vettel took pole position ahead of Lewis Hamilton at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after Kimi Raikkonen threw away a shot at beating his Ferrari teammate with a mistake late on his final lap.

Vettel will line up ahead of the two Mercedes drivers on the grid despite making an error of his own on his second run in Q3. In what proved to be a scrappy session for both Ferraris, Vettel still had enough pace to fend off the challenge from Mercedes, with a 0.179s margin over Hamilton and a 0.339s advantage over Valtteri Bottas in third.

Vettel's mistake on his final lap came at Turn 3 with a big lock up under braking, while teammate Raikkonen lost the rear of his Ferrari on the exit of Turn 16. Up until that point, Raikkonen was 0.2s quicker than his teammate and a clean exit from that corner should have been enough to secure pole. Instead he starts from sixth after making mistakes on his first attempts in both Q2 and Q3 as well. The mistake in Q2 also meant he ruined his single set of super-soft tyres and, unlike the rest of the top six, will start the race on the less durable ultra-soft as a result.

Raikkonen's error allowed the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen to secure fourth and fifth on the grid ahead of the second Ferrari. Ricciardo was just 0.074s off Bottas, but the relative lack of power from their Renault engine meant they lacked the performance to take the fight to the very front.

Outside the top six, Force India secured the best qualifying result of its season with Esteban Ocon in seventh and Sergio Perez in eighth. The two teammates were split by just 0.024s and Ocon was only 0.033s off Raikkonen's messy lap in the Ferrari.

The two Renaults rounded off the top ten with Nico Hulkenberg 0.285s ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz. However, Hulkenberg will drop to 14th on Sunday's grid once his five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change is factored in.

Williams secured its best qualifying result of the season with Lance Stroll in 11th and Sergey Sirotkin in 12th, which will become 10th and 11th once Hulkenberg's penalty is applied. McLaren's qualifying struggles continued with the 13th fastest time for Fernando Alonso ahead of an impressive performance from Charles Leclerc. Kevin Magnussen will be disappointed to start 15th after two top ten appearances during practice did not translate into ultimate qualifying pace on Saturday afternoon.

The second McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne was eliminated in the first part of qualifying after setting a time 0.130s off Stroll's best Q1 effort. The result follows three difficult practice sessions for the Belgian and is the first time the McLaren has failed to make it through to Q2 this year.

The two Toro Rossos were involved in a controversial incident as Brendon Hartley, who failed to set a quick lap, suffered a puncture in the middle sector and ended up blocking teammate Pierre Gasly. Gasly came across Hartley on the high-speed run to Turn 15 while on a hot lap and he had to take last-minute evasive action to avoid a monster collision. The incident ruined Gasly's chances of improving and left him fuming at over team radio.

Gasly will line up 17th on the grid ahead of Marcus Ericsson, Hartley and Romain Grosjean, who suffered a gearbox failure on his first flying lap in Q1.

Related news

Marquez wins in Germany for ninth year in a row

Marquez wins in Germany for ninth year in a row

Marc Marquez kept alive his winning streak at the Sachsenring as he won MotoGP's German Grand Prix in dominant fashion ahead of Valentino Rossi.

Marc Marquez on pole in Germany for ninth year in a row

Marc Marquez on pole in Germany for ninth year in a row

MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez, the 'King of the Sachsenring', took his ninth successive German Grand Prix pole position on Saturday.

Vettel claims brilliant British GP win, Lewis fights back to second

Vettel claims brilliant British GP win, Lewis fights back to second

Sebastian Vettel won a thrilling British Grand Prix that featured overtaking for the lead, two high-speed accidents and a brilliant fightback drive from Lewis Hamilton to second place.

Lewis Hamilton beats Ferraris to sixth pole at Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton beats Ferraris to sixth pole at Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton took pole position in a remarkably tight qualifying session for the British Grand Prix, beating championship rival Sebastian Vettel by 0.044s.

Hamilton edges Kimi in final practice, neck strain hampers Vettel

Hamilton edges Kimi in final practice, neck strain hampers Vettel

Lewis Hamilton returned to the top of the timing screens during final practice for the British Grand Prix as Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel failed to set a quick lap time after straining his neck midway through the session.

Vettel edges Lewis in FP2 at Silverstone

Vettel edges Lewis in FP2 at Silverstone

Sebastian Vettel finished the second practice session for the British Grand Prix at the top of the timesheets, albeit just under a tenth of a second off the benchmark time set by Lewis Hamilton in first practice.

Hamilton comfortably clear of Bottas, Vettel in FP1

Hamilton comfortably clear of Bottas, Vettel in FP1

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in first practice for the British Grand Prix, holding a comfortable 0.367s margin over teammate Valtteri Bottas and 0.511s over title rival Sebastian Vettel.

Max Verstappen wins Austrian Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton retires, loses championship lead

Max Verstappen wins Austrian Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton retires, loses championship lead

Max Verstappen took a shock home victory for Red Bull at the Austrian Grand Prix after both Mercedes cars retired from the race with reliability issues.

Marc Marquez wins Dutch TT to extend MotoGP lead

Marc Marquez wins Dutch TT to extend MotoGP lead

MotoGP champion Marc Marquez won the Dutch TT from pole position for Honda on Sunday to stretch his championship lead to 41 points.

RELATED NEWS

Marquez wins in Germany for ninth year in a row
German Grand Prix

Marquez wins in Germany for ninth year in a row

Marc Marquez kept alive his winning streak at the Sachsenring as he won MotoGP's German Grand Prix in dominant fashion ahead of Valentino Rossi.

Marc Marquez on pole in Germany for ninth year in a row
German Grand Prix - Qualifying

Marc Marquez on pole in Germany for ninth year in a row

MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez, the 'King of the Sachsenring', took his ninth successive German Grand Prix pole position on Saturday.

Vettel claims brilliant British GP win, Lewis fights back to second
British Grand Prix

Vettel claims brilliant British GP win, Lewis fights back to second

Sebastian Vettel won a thrilling British Grand Prix that featured overtaking for the lead, two high-speed accidents and a brilliant fightback drive from Lewis Hamilton to second place.

Lewis Hamilton beats Ferraris to sixth pole at Silverstone
British Grand Prix - Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton beats Ferraris to sixth pole at Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton took pole position in a remarkably tight qualifying session for the British Grand Prix, beating championship rival Sebastian Vettel by 0.044s.

Hamilton edges Kimi in final practice, neck strain hampers Vettel
British Grand Prix - FP3

Hamilton edges Kimi in final practice, neck strain hampers Vettel

Lewis Hamilton returned to the top of the timing screens during final practice for the British Grand Prix as Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel failed to set a quick lap time after straining his neck midway through the session.

Vettel edges Lewis in FP2 at Silverstone
British Grand Prix - FP2

Vettel edges Lewis in FP2 at Silverstone

Sebastian Vettel finished the second practice session for the British Grand Prix at the top of the timesheets, albeit just under a tenth of a second off the benchmark time set by Lewis Hamilton in first practice.

Hamilton comfortably clear of Bottas, Vettel in FP1
British Grand Prix - FP1

Hamilton comfortably clear of Bottas, Vettel in FP1

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in first practice for the British Grand Prix, holding a comfortable 0.367s margin over teammate Valtteri Bottas and 0.511s over title rival Sebastian Vettel.

Max Verstappen wins Austrian Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton retires, loses championship lead
Austrian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen wins Austrian Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton retires, loses championship lead

Max Verstappen took a shock home victory for Red Bull at the Austrian Grand Prix after both Mercedes cars retired from the race with reliability issues.

Marc Marquez wins Dutch TT to extend MotoGP lead
MOTOGP Dutch Grand Prix

Marc Marquez wins Dutch TT to extend MotoGP lead

MotoGP champion Marc Marquez won the Dutch TT from pole position for Honda on Sunday to stretch his championship lead to 41 points.