Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Greed almost cost me, says Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton signals to fans after nabbing the top qualifying spot for Mercedes at the Azerbaijan Formula One Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas finished second from a lapped last and Williams teenager Lance Stroll third in a Baku race which provided no end of crashes, incidents and overtakes - and a "dangerous driving" rebuke for championship leader Vettel.

Bottas led qualifying and set an even quicker time on his final lap, only for Hamilton to beat him by almost half a second. "A lot of pressure".

"I didn't, I controlled the pace", said Hamilton. "I was chasing that little bit too much".

BAKU-Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo profited from the chaos to win the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday, while Sebastian Vettel extended his championship lead over Lewis Hamilton.

The British driver's 66th pole moved him one ahead of Ayrton Senna and just two behind Michael Schumacher's record of 68. The insane thing is the hunger for another pole, " Hamilton said.

After his penalty, imposed by the stewards for unsafe driving, Vettel recovered to finish in fourth, one place ahead of his British rival.

Vettel was beaten to third by team mate Kimi Raikkonen in an all-Ferrari second row. That is sport but 10 seconds is an very bad long time.

"It definitely sets a precedent within F1 and it also does for all the young kids that are watching us drive and conduct ourselves", said Hamilton. He had a free pit stop and we went for the super-soft tyre and he made it work. His vehicle had a fuel fire the morning practice session and was not even close to being repaired for qualifying.

Within moments, the safety vehicle was out again for the third time after Sergio Perez and his Force India teammate Esteban Ocon collided. "It just shows you should never give up", Bottas said. "Every corner can be a challenge".

Chasing his second career pole, Bottas was also disappointed.

Hamilton was on Vettel's tail on the last lap, but could not overtake. "It was all or nothing but the lap just got better and better throughout", BBC quoted Hamilton as saying.

Up ahead, Hamilton asked over the radio where Bottas was, perhaps concerned his teammate would not be able to protect him from Vettel later in the race. Williams driver Felipe Massa misjudged the hard approach into Turn 8 and Carlos Sainz Jr. overshot the entry into Turn 2, which happened to several drivers.

The entirety of the field made use of the safety auto to pit and switch to the soft tire that would likely take them to the end of the race, with Hamilton heading the field ahead of Vettel and Perez for the restart on Lap 17.

The red flag came out when Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo hit a wall exiting Turn 6, smashing up his left rear suspension.

  • Julie Sanders