Hamilton takes 66th career pole in Azerbaijan

Turn 8 is proving a little too narrow for some at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Turn 8 is proving a little too narrow for some at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

In topping the timesheets, Hamilton has moved to within two pole positions of Michael Schumacher's record of 68, by claiming the 66th pole of his career, surpassing his hero Ayrton Senna's mark of 65.

Bottas had to settle for second place, ending up over 0.4s adrift of his Mercedes teammate despite finding some more time on his own final lap.

After three hard practice sessions, qualifying also proved tough.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton admitted on Saturday that greed nearly cost him dearly before he clinched a landmark pole during qualifying for Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

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.

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"I wasn't quite comfortable with the tyre temperatures". Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was second. "Whilst we got that other run in Q3 after the red flag, it was down to one lap and I just didn't feel that I managed to get the tyres warm enough and to work and bite as well".

"So that's a good thing and I'm grateful for that because that's what drives me so hopefully I continue to grow and get better as a driver and as a human being".

Bottas said it was "disappointing" to miss out on pole but "second place is not bad".

The three-time champion Austrian, who is Mercedes' non-executive chairman, also praised the team for their work in turning around a auto that had struggled on Friday, when Hamilton was 10th, into the fastest just 24 hours later. "Going into the race we have a fantastic starting position and I'm expecting a good fight with Lewis". "This morning, we didn't know if those changes were going to be right or not".

Vettel will probably not have too many problems in passing his teammate, but will have to be at the top of his game if he is hoping to challenge for victory.

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This year sees our second visit to the Baku City Circuit, and it's a track that divides opinions. I thought may be once I matched him may be it will fade but I was hungrier than ever today, even more hungry than before.

Sebastian Vettel: "The result is okay, but obviously I am not entirely happy and this qualifying didn't help". Williams rookie Lance Stroll out-qualified team mate Felipe Massa for eighth, with the unfortunate Ricciardo completing the top ten.

Both McLarens will start from the rear of the field on Sunday thanks to multiple grid penalties for use of additional Honda power unit elements, while Sainz will lose three grid spots for causing a collision last time out in Canada.

19 cars started qualifying - Renault's Jolyon Palmer suffered an engine fire in the final free practice and had to sit it out.

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