Triple-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton took a fabulous pole position on Saturday in qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, grabbing it from his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas right at the end of the session.
The Mercedes duo were completely leading at the Baku City circuit, with Kimi Raikkonen third on the grid ahead of his team-mate and championship leader Sebastian Vettel and they well over a second behind Hamilton’s pole time.
Max Verstappen took fifth spot, with his Red Bull team-mate Danie Ricciardo back in tenth, having hit the wall in Q3.
The Force India pair of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon claimed sixth and seventh, with Williams behind them as Lance Stroll clocked in just ahead of Felipe Massa.
McLaren’s duo of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne, knowing they would start at the back of the grid following penalties for a number of gearbox issues, dropped out in Q1.
66th pole of Hamilton’s career has moved him above Ayrton Senna and into a standalone second in the all-time list. Indeed Hamilton could match Michael Schumacher’s pole record, of which he is now two short, in front of a capacity crowd at Silverstone at next month’s British Grand Prix.
“I am so pumped with that pole, and that is how qualifying should be,” Hamilton said. “Tomorrow will be a hard race but we are in the best position to start.”