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Hamilton's latest pole position moves him 2nd all-time in F1

F1 championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who leads Hamilton by 12 points in the standings, qualified fourth for Sunday's race.

After three hard practice sessions, qualifying also proved tough - with Turns 2, 6 and 8 causing most problems.

Before he could go out again, Ricciardo slammed his Red Bull in to the wall and the session was held up until there were just three and a half minutes left, leaving Hamilton just enough time to get out, get round to the start and do a lap.

Ricciardo's crash with just three minutes on the clock then threatened to scupper Hamilton's chances as all cars were forced to return to the pits, but he picked up where he left off on hi final set of supersofts and, despite Bottas posting his own improvement, Hamilton beat the Finn by almost half a second. "It's not about being greedy, it's about having that right balance; it's basically like a see-saw and I had a flawless balance between aggressiveness and taking too much out".

Red Bull had hoped to mount a challenge in qualifying, having topped both Friday sessions with Max Verstappen, but could only manage fifth with Verstappen and 10th with Daniel Ricciardo after he made contact with the wall in the final part of qualifying.

And unsurprisingly it was the former who Hamilton enjoyed a lunch date with in the moments before his extraordinary lap.

"It's disappointing obviously", Bottas said.

"There was a lot of pressure went into getting that last run in with only a minute left basically and all weekend not being able to do one lap for us, but some others had, but it was all or nothing so had to give it everything I had".

Kvitova reaches 1st final since attack
Barty, meanwhile, delivered the biggest scalp of her career after coming from behind to defeat Muguruza. Broady commented on her speed not just laterally but up to short balls which she then just nails.

The British driver's 66th pole moved him one ahead of Ayrton Senna and just two behind Michael Schumacher's record of 68.

The Mercedes pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were quick to hit the track and snatch the pole early. "This morning, we didn't know if those changes were going to be right or not".

The Finn will start ahead of compatriot Kimi Raikkonen, who finished more than a second behind Hamilton. "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".

F1 and F2 drivers compete on the 6-kilometer Baku City Circuit.

Toro Rosso failed to get either auto into the top ten for a second race running, while Renault and McLaren also endured a miserable session.

"The result is okay but I'm not entirely happy", the four-times Formula One champion said.

Behind, Force India duo Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon took sixth and seventh, with the Williams' of Lance Stroll and Felipe Massa just behind.

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

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