Bottas fastest ahead of Raikkonen in final practice in Baku

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, left and Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland walk between their cars following the qualification at the Formula One Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan, Saturday, June 24, 2017.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the pole position in the qualifications for the Grand Prix of Azerbaijan.

Hamilton's Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas had been quickest in the final Q3 session until Hamilton's late intervention. Hamilton followed seconds later, shaving more than a half second from his time and taking pole.

Hamilton, who had dominated after a strong start from his 66th pole position, was also undone by a loose headrest that caused him to be ordered to pit for repairs, for safety reasons. Standing before thousands of fans at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, the Brit was taken aback when presented a genuine Senna helmet from the Senna family collection for matching his idol's record.

"There are concerts at every race", Hamilton said.

Lewis Hamilton moved ahead of Ayrton Senna in career poles Saturday.

"That is what drives me".

"I'm no fan of excuses, I could have done a bit better but probably P3 was the maximum".

"As for the auto, we have joked it can be a bit of a diva". His crushing performance in qualifying has now provided him with the chance to do just that. All weekend we've not been able to do a one-lap [run], as some others had, but it was all or nothing, so I had to give it everything I had.

He said: "That was one of the most exciting laps that I've had all year". Once again Mercedes have made a big step today so I don't think we can get close to them but we will be looking to challenge Ferrari come the race. Fernando Alonso will start 19th having been assessed 40 grid spots worth of penalties. "We didn't think we could do a single lap time here". The run before was good and, before the red flag, everything was going ok. "It's not been our most competitive track _ perhaps the weakest track we've been to this year in terms of competitiveness". This weekend Max and I have been happy with the balance of the auto and it is responding well so we have made definite progress.

"Tomorrow is another day, it's going to be a long race so who knows".

"This is what the very best drivers are made of".

"I can't describe how I feel, it is beyond awesome". "The tires are really hard to bite the track". Part of me doesn't like it right now but the reality is that I do like street circuits for these reasons, it shows when you are on the limit and you pay the price when you are over that limit.

"Not clean enough, didn't get enough grip". I need to work on that and be better in these conditions. "I can't believe what just happened".

Ricciardo started the race in tenth after a qualifying mistake saw him end up in the wall, but staying out of trouble on Sunday paid off as those around him encountered various issues.

The F1 world championship leader felt Hamilton also deserved to get a penalty after accusing him of brake checking for their initial incident but waved away suggestions he clashed with Hamilton when angrily gesturing to his rival seconds later. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) +41.753 8. "Obviously I was going for the pole and just the lap in the end wasn't ideal".

"Disappointing, but second place is not bad", he added".

  • Julie Sanders