Sebastian Vettel earned his third pole position this season as world champion Lewis Hamilton settled for the second place.
Hamilton came close to winning this time, but a lockup in his second run spoilt the Briton’s plan and he had to settle for P2 with a 0.179s gap to his German rival.
Vettel’s teammate Kimi Räikkönen looked all set to claim the coveted position after an impressive performance in all the sectors in the first round. But, his extra aggressiveness at Turn 16 left-hander lost him time in his second run. His best time got him the sixth place on the grid.
Valtteri Bottas followed right behind Hamilton to claim the third spot on the grid. Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen took the fourth and fifth, respectively.
Esteban Ocon did good runs in all segments to secure the seventh place and his teammate followed close behind at eighth.
Nico Hulkenberg finished at the ninth place, but due to a gearbox change, he will face a five-place grid penalty tomorrow and thus the 10th placed Carlos Sainz will take his spot.
Among the Q2 drivers, Mercedes powered Williams drivers Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin ended at the 11th and 12 respectively, showing their car has improved at least a bit since the last three races.
Fernando Alonso once again failed to get through Q3 and has to work with his P13 (converted to P12) at tomorrow’s race.
The qualifying race also saw a few near miss and a small contact between the Toro Rosso cars.
As we predicted yesterday and earlier today, Vettel made a strong come back and took his third consecutive pole position.
It will be a tight fight in the top order, especially since the Red Bull cars are turning out to be very fast. If Ricciardo pits early, there is a good chance he will end on the podium.
Hamilton does not make the same mistake twice. With the ability to stay longer on the higher power mode, the Briton may break his winless streak tomorrow if he gets a break in the first 10 laps.
1 comment on “Azerbaijan GP: Vettel on a roll to his third pole”
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