Azerbaijan Grand Prix qualifying: Valtteri Bottas takes pole | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 27.04.2019
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Azerbaijan Grand Prix qualifying: Valtteri Bottas takes pole

Valtteri Bottas took pole ahead of fellow Mercedes man Lewis Hamilton after a chaotic qualifying session. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel rounds off the top three but teammate Charles Leclerc starts in ninth after crashing.

Mercedes pair Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton have already built up a commanding championship lead and on Saturday, they finished one-two in qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

"It was a nice feeling getting it done on the last lap,” said Bottas, after the eighth pole position of his career and second in a row. "I managed to hit the sweet spot," added the 29-year-old Finn.

Frenchman Charles Leclerc looked to be Ferrari's best hope for pole, but crashed out in the second round of qualifying, meaning he will start Sunday's race in ninth. The 21-year-old didn't hide his frustration.

"I am stupid, I am stupid, I am stupid," he said over team radio, later adding on Twitter: "No excuses. I've been useless."

Despite starting so far back, the Ferrari driver could still compete for a podium position, a point not overlooked by Lewis Hamilton.  

"It has been close this weekend. Ferrari looked good and Valtteri did an exceptional job," the reigning champion said.

The qualifying session took far longer than normal due to a number of drivers struggling with the challenging Baku street circuit. Robert Kubica crashed into the same wall as Leclerc.