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

Sebastian Vettel fastest in Abu Dhabi test as Kimi Raikkonen returns to Sauber

Sebastian Vettel fastest in Abu Dhabi test as Kimi Raikkonen returns to Sauber

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time on the first day of Abu Dhabi's post-season test, as his former Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen completed his first day back at Sauber.

Hamilton caps off 2018 with easy win in Abu Dhabi

Hamilton caps off 2018 with easy win in Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton won the final race of the Formula One season in Abu Dhabi, crowning his championship-winning 2018 campaign with an 11th victory from 21 races.

Lewis Hamilton beats Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel to pole for Abu Dhabi finale

Lewis Hamilton beats Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel to pole for Abu Dhabi finale

Lewis Hamilton will start from pole position at the final race of the 2018 season after securing the fastest qualifying time by 0.162s in Abu Dhabi.

Lewis Hamilton leads Kimi Raikkonen in final practice for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton leads Kimi Raikkonen in final practice for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton finished the final practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the top of the timesheets as Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen emerged as his closest competitor.

Valtteri Bottas pips Max Verstappen by 0.044s to top second practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas pips Max Verstappen by 0.044s to top second practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas topped the second practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as Mercedes and Red Bull battled each other for the fastest time under Yas Marina's floodlights.

Max Verstappen leads comfortable Red Bull one-two in first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice

Max Verstappen leads comfortable Red Bull one-two in first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice

Max Verstappen was comfortably quickest after the first practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, finishing the session 0.454s quicker than teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

Dovizioso triumphs in wild rain-hit finale

Dovizioso triumphs in wild rain-hit finale

Ducati MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso emerged victorious in a stop-start, attrition-heavy 2018 MotoGP season finale at a wet Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.

Latvala wins in Australia, WRC title for Ogier

Latvala wins in Australia, WRC title for Ogier

Toyota driver Jari-Matti Latvala won Rally Australia, while crashes for Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak helped seal a sixth World Rally Championship title for M-Sport Ford's Sebastien Ogier.

Neuville retires, Ogier or Tanak for WRC title

Neuville retires, Ogier or Tanak for WRC title

Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville is officially out of the running for the World Rally Championship drivers' title, after crashing out of the first stage of the final loop.

RELATED NEWS

Sebastian Vettel fastest in Abu Dhabi test as Kimi Raikkonen returns to Sauber
Abu Dhabi test

Sebastian Vettel fastest in Abu Dhabi test as Kimi Raikkonen returns to Sauber

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time on the first day of Abu Dhabi's post-season test, as his former Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen completed his first day back at Sauber.

Hamilton caps off 2018 with easy win in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Hamilton caps off 2018 with easy win in Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton won the final race of the Formula One season in Abu Dhabi, crowning his championship-winning 2018 campaign with an 11th victory from 21 races.

Lewis Hamilton beats Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel to pole for Abu Dhabi finale
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton beats Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel to pole for Abu Dhabi finale

Lewis Hamilton will start from pole position at the final race of the 2018 season after securing the fastest qualifying time by 0.162s in Abu Dhabi.

Lewis Hamilton leads Kimi Raikkonen in final practice for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP3

Lewis Hamilton leads Kimi Raikkonen in final practice for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton finished the final practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the top of the timesheets as Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen emerged as his closest competitor.

Valtteri Bottas pips Max Verstappen by 0.044s to top second practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP2

Valtteri Bottas pips Max Verstappen by 0.044s to top second practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas topped the second practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as Mercedes and Red Bull battled each other for the fastest time under Yas Marina's floodlights.

Max Verstappen leads comfortable Red Bull one-two in first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP1

Max Verstappen leads comfortable Red Bull one-two in first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice

Max Verstappen was comfortably quickest after the first practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, finishing the session 0.454s quicker than teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

Dovizioso triumphs in wild rain-hit finale
Valencia Grand Prix

Dovizioso triumphs in wild rain-hit finale

Ducati MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso emerged victorious in a stop-start, attrition-heavy 2018 MotoGP season finale at a wet Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.

Latvala wins in Australia, WRC title for Ogier
Rally Australia

Latvala wins in Australia, WRC title for Ogier

Toyota driver Jari-Matti Latvala won Rally Australia, while crashes for Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak helped seal a sixth World Rally Championship title for M-Sport Ford's Sebastien Ogier.

Neuville retires, Ogier or Tanak for WRC title
Rally Australia

Neuville retires, Ogier or Tanak for WRC title

Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville is officially out of the running for the World Rally Championship drivers' title, after crashing out of the first stage of the final loop.

15/12/2018
01:00 | Atlanta Hawks vs Boston Celtics
01:00 | New York Knicks vs Charlotte Hornets
01:30 | Washington Wizards vs Brooklyn Nets
01:30 | Milwaukee Bucks vs Cleveland Cavaliers
01:30 | Indiana Pacers vs Philadelphia 76ers
02:00 | Miami Heat vs Memphis Grizzlies
04:00 | Oklahoma City Thunder vs Denver Nuggets
04:00 | Toronto Raptors vs Portland Trail Blazers
04:00 | Golden State Warriors vs Sacramento Kings
13:30 | Manchester City - Everton
15:30 | Hannover 96 - Bayern Munich
16:00 | Tottenham Hotspur - Burnley
16:00 | Bolton Wanderers - Leeds United
16:15 | Real Valladolid - Atletico Madrid
17:00 | Dijon - PSG
18:00 | Inter Milan - Udinese
18:30 | Real Madrid - Rayo Vallecano
18:30 | Borussia Dortmund - Werder Bremen
20:30 | Torino - Juventus
23:00 | Utah Jazz vs Orlando Magic
16/12/2018
01:00 | Los Angeles Lakers vs Charlotte Hornets
01:00 | Boston Celtics vs Detroit Pistons
02:00 | Houston Rockets vs Memphis Grizzlies
02:30 | Chicago Bulls vs San Antonio Spurs
03:00 | LA Clippers vs Oklahoma City Thunder
03:00 | Minnesota Timberwolves vs Phoenix Suns
12:00 | Sevilla - Girona
13:00 | Olympique Lyon - Monaco
14:30 | Brighton - Chelsea
14:30 | Southampton - Arsenal
17:00 | Liverpool - Manchester United
18:00 | Cagliari - Napoli
20:30 | Roma - Genoa
20:45 | Levante - Barcelona
21:00 | Olympique Marseille - Bordeaux
21:00 | Atlanta Hawks vs Brooklyn Nets
21:30 | Philadelphia 76ers vs Cleveland Cavaliers
23:00 | New York Knicks vs Indiana Pacers
17/12/2018
00:00 | Los Angeles Lakers vs Washington Wizards
01:00 | Sacramento Kings vs Dallas Mavericks
01:00 | Miami Heat vs New Orleans Pelicans
02:00 | Toronto Raptors vs Denver Nuggets
20:30 | Atalanta - Lazio
18/12/2018
20:30 | Fortuna Dusseldorf - Borussia Dortmund
20:30 | Bologna - Milan
20:45 | Middlesbrough - Burton Albion
20:45 | Leicester City - Manchester City
21:00 | Orleans - PSG
DERBY OF THE WEEK
Liverpool - Manchester United
Derby of the week
17:00
16/12/2018
Derby of the week
W 1.53    
   W 6.50
The odds are correct at the time of publishing
11:00 15-12-2018 and are subject to change
Football Live Scores
Tennis Live Scores