Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton on pole with Sebastian Vettel languishing | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 24.06.2017
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Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton on pole with Sebastian Vettel languishing

Lewis Hamilton flies through a thrilling final lap to seal pole position in Baku. The Mercedes driver was in scintillating form, with German driver Sebastian Vettel forced to make do with a place on the second row.

Lewis Hamilton produced a blistering final lap to snatch pole position for Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The three-time world champion starts ahead of Mercedes teammate Valteri Bottas with Ferrari duo Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, the championship leader, occupying the second row of the grid.

Hamilton claimed the 66th pole of his career, pulling clear of Brazilian great Ayrton Senna and leaving the Briton just two shy of Michael Schumacher's record of 68.

His quickest lap of 1min 40.593sec came in the final seconds of the session following a red-flagged stoppage which turned the finale into a 3min 30sec showdown.

The 32-year-old bounced back from a frustrating practice outing on Friday to clinch his fifth pole in eight races this season as Mercedes locked out the front row.

Hamilton, who was quickest around the Baku street circuit by half a second, could match Schumacher's mark at next month's British Grand Prix if he can also take pole in Austria in two weeks.

"That was one of the most exciting laps I have had all year," said Hamilton. "A lot of pressure as we've been struggling with getting temperature into the tires - I was just praying it was enough.

"I am so pumped - that's how qualifying should be. It is going to be a long, hard race, but it's the best place to start."

mds/mf (AFP, Reuters)

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