Vettel reverses out of trouble in Baku

However, he and the team addressed these problems which seen him go on to take fourth career grand slam of pole.

Mercedes are hopeful that they will be able to repeat this exceptional performance in Baku.

'This season has been really good for us, ' said Vettel.

"I think it is the fastest on the grid and I wouldn't want any other".

"Mercedes generally is the only team as far as I'm aware in motorsport that really embraces the individuals that they work with".

The anticlockwise track features 20 corners, and at 3.7 miles in length, is the second-longest on the calendar behind Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps Circuit. But a point to note is that the Brit did not have the best of times here previous year.

The race - run through the streets of capital Baku - joined the calendar a year ago as the European Grand Prix, with Hamilton's former team-mate and retired world champion Nico Rosberg sweeping to a dominant win. "I feel 12 months later we are better prepared than we were then".

Asked if he would consider a move to Ferrari when his current Mercedes contract expires, Hamilton added: "That's not something I am thinking at the moment, all I am thinking is beating the Ferrari". Hamilton was a the factory in Brackley on Monday preparing for the race with the team and Wolff was confident his driver had no issues with the circuit heading into this weekend.

Ferrari, traditionally strong in the hottest conditions, will hope to bounce back after Vettel left Canada unhappy at his own result despite a stirring drive through the field to finish fourth after a first lap collision. The sport's second most successful team, who are mired at the bottom of the standings, have piled the pressure on power-unit supplier Honda over the last few weeks by publicly criticising the lack of power and reliability of the Japanese manufacturer's engines. "Part of the schedule of having three races in a row was because we did not think it was ideal for a promoter to have an event go head to head with the World Cup final", American Carey said.

That's made it especially hard for drivers to get their tires up to operating temperature at Baku City Circuit, as tires already are prone to losing heat while on the track's 1.367-mile straight.

Ferrari have won 227 races, McLaren 182, Williams 114, Mercedes 68 and Red Bull 52. Hamilton, who won McLaren's last title in 2008, was keen that they should come to an agreement.

Part of the struggle of keeping the tyres in the right working range is that they loose temperature while running on Baku's long straights. "Valtteri showed good pace and I think if I finished my lap I would have been up there as well".

  • Zachary Reyes