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Lewis Hamilton Achieves Late Pole Position In Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton Achieves Late Pole Position In Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton killed his Baku qualifying demons of 12 months ago to claim a resounding pole for the Azerbaijan GP, as Championship leader Sebastian Vettel could only manage fourth.

Moving one clear of Ayrton Senna into sole possession of second place on F1's pole table, and just two behind Michael Schumacher's all-time record, Hamilton overcame inconsistent practice form and then a Q3 mistake and red flag to deny team-mate Valtteri Bottas top spot.

Vettel, who suffered a pre-qualifying engine change, will start one place behind team-mate Kimi Raikkonen but most concerning for Ferrari is likely to be their final qualifying gap to Mercedes: 1.1 seconds, by far the largest advantage any team has enjoyed on a Saturday all season.

"That was one of the most exciting laps that I've had all year," Hamilton said.
"I'm so pumped with that. That's how qualifying should be."

"We started in the wrong place and had to make a lot of changes overnight," said Hamilton. "But the changes were fantastic and that lap… There was a lot of pressure on that last lap.

"My last lap in Montreal was pretty special but I think this one tops it."

"I think being that it's such a hot race, it's such a difficult one," Hamilton added to Sky Sports News HQ ..

"I'm in a much better position than I was last year and as a team we've put ourselves in a good position. But I think Valtteri is going to be very quick and I think Ferrari, once they get the car heavier, their race pace is stronger.

"Our car was working really well today and I anticipate it will be the same tomorrow. If I have the pace that I had today then I should be in a good position."

Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda believes no other driver on the Formula One grid could have replicated Lewis Hamilton's final Q3 attempt which secured pole position for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
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