MX23RW : Tuesday, September 25 17:32:18

Sebastian Vettel claims pole position at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Vettel on pole in Baku, Hamilton second
Sebastian Vettel holds off Lewis Hamilton to claim pole position at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel has held off Lewis Hamilton in Azerbaijan Grand Prix qualifying to claim his third consecutive pole position.

The German, nine points clear of Hamilton in the standings, finished 0.179 seconds clear of the Mercedes driver on the tricky Baku street circuit.

Both drivers could have been usurped by Kimi Raikkonen, who set two fastest sectors on his final lap before making a mistake at Turn 15 and losing a second in the final sector.

The Finn finished sixth, with compatriot Valtteri Bottas third but 0.339s off the pace, while Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen finished fourth and fifth.

Esteban Ocon performed strongly throughout qualifying to end up in seventh, a second off the pace, and just ahead of Force India teammate Sergio Perez.

Nico Hulkenberg was ninth fastest, although he has to serve a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change and will hand the position to Renault teammate Carlos Sainz.

Azerbaijan GP qualifying standings:

1. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
4. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
6. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
7. Esteban Ocon (Force India)
8. Sergio Perez (Force India)
9. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)
10. Carlos Sainz (Renault)
11. Lance Stroll (Williams)
12. Sergey Sirotkin (Williams)
13. Fernando Alonso (McLaren)
14. Charles Leclerc (Sauber)
15. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
16. Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren)
17. Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso)
18. Marcus Ericsson (Sauber)
NC. Brendon Hartley (Toro Rosso)
NC. Romain Grosjean (Haas)

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