26 June, 2017
The British driver dominated the practice sessions on Baku's street circuit a year ago before clipping the barriers during qualifying and starting the race 10th on the grid, ultimately finishing fifth. "We didn't think we could do a single lap time here".
The pole is the Britain's 66th in Formula 1, putting him just two shy of the all-time record by Michael Schumacher.
In the one lap dash after the qualifying session resumed, Hamilton managed to jump his teammate and take pole.
"I think it's one of the tracks where you need to have the auto in the window and tyres in the window, and then, if you feel confident, you extract a lot of lap time as well". "A lot of pressure".
Bottas looked the early polesitter in Q3 before Hamilton's stormer of a lap at 1:40.593 eclipsed him by about seventh tenths, although he improved to just 0.434 off by the end of the session.More news: New Apple iOS 11 will end support for iPhone 5 and 5c
"So to come in this morning not really knowing if those changes were going to be right, I know I've got full confidence with the team but still it's very hard with the tyres to switch them on and off".
"We have been struggling to get temperature into the front tyre and we didn't know if it was a one lap tyre".
The four-time champion was hauled back into the Ferrari garage with just half of the one-session completed, and he did not re-emerge. "For tomorrow we, as a team, definitively have a great starting position and we're going to have a good fight and try to get another one-two for the team".
"I'm no fan of excuses, I could have done a bit better but probably P3 was the maximum". "The team did a great job with our vehicle and to put us out at the right times". The Q2 eliminated rivers were: Toro Rosso drivers Daniil Kvyat and Sainz Jr.; Kevin Magnussen (Haas); Nico Hulkenberg (Renault); and Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber).
Nico Hulkenberg was 11th, while his Renault teammate Jolyon Palmer failed to set a representative time after stopping on track early on with a fire at the rear of the auto.
Jolyon Palmer was not able to post a time and missed qualifying after his Renault caught fire in final practice.
Both McLarens will start from the rear of the field on Sunday thanks to multiple grid penalties for use of additional Honda power unit elements, while Sainz will lose three grid spots for causing a collision last time out in Canada.