Giovedi, 23 Novembre, 2017

Hamilton claims pole with stunning late lap

Pammachio Corsino | 26 Giugno, 2017, 03:48

Canadian youngster Lance Stroll, in eighth, out-qualified his fellow Williams driver Felipe Massa, who was ninth.

Vettel was given a 10-second stop-and-go penalty in the race - won by Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo - after being adjudged guilty of unsafe driving but still finished a place ahead of Hamilton in fourth, extending his championship lead to 14 points.

Hamilton, who was quickest around the Baku street circuit by half a second, could match Schumacher's mark at next month's British Grand Prix if he can also take pole in Austria in a fortnight.

It was surely disappointing to lose second place for Stroll, but Williams can't be that sad about achieving the team's first podium this season.

My pole lap in Montreal was pretty special, but I think this one here tops that.

Verstappen posted the fastest time in the first session ahead of Ricciardo and Vettel.

The safety vehicle came out three times in quick succession before a red flag stopped the race on lap 22 of 51 because debris littered the track. Hamilton was able to retain his lead ahead of Vettel, but Verstappen was forced to park his auto up in the garage, marking his fourth retirement in six races.

Alex Rose: So Vettel drives into Hamilton, gets a penalty and still manages to finish in front.

Hamilton has also suggested Vettel's side-swipe could be deliberate after gesturing angrily by calling the collision "clear" to see.

The upshot of the incident saw Vettel pick up a 10-second drive-through penalty, which caused him to plummet down the field and possibly miss out on crucial championship points.

Be sure to watch the onboard video of Hamilton's pole lap.

The Red Bull driver had been forced to pit early after his debris left on the track following a crash between Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen blocked his car's break ducts. Sure I'm not happy with the mistake but it's one of those tracks. The 18-year-old stayed calm under pressure and looked set to have second, only for Bottas to catch and pass just metres before the line. I don't know what to say - there's nothing I can really say.

"This is not an easy track, and it has not been an easy weekend so far, but today's result is a good indication of the steady progress we have made through each session".


Not surprisingly, Stroll cringed after his first gulp. I can't describe how I feel, it is beyond incredible. But the Australian was able to move forward during the race's jockeying for position, and had moved up to 6th by the time of the race's second safety auto stint. The length of the lap made it hard to get the tires up to their optimal temperature in just one lap.

But Bottas had to pit on the second lap for a new front wing, dropping to last, while Raikkonen complained of damage to the rear of his auto.

Hamilton led away from pole position as Bottas blocked Vettel on the inside of Turn 1. It marked his fourth retirement in six races and the teenager cut a frustrated figure as he climbed from the auto in the pitlane.

This prompted a flurry of activity as drivers switched tires, changing the race order somewhat.

Drivers from all teams had trouble in qualifying getting their tyres up to temperature and Hamilton was no different.

Then came that incident with Vettel.

Lewis Hamilton produced another stunning pole lap, Sebastian Vettel settled for P4 and Daniel Ricciardo crashed out in Q3.

What happened next undoubtedly become the major talking point from the race - Vettel pulled up alongside Hamilton, angrily waving his right hand in the air and turning across and making contact with the right wheels of his championship rival.

With debris littering the track, it was deemed too unsafe to race and the red flag came out on lap 22 of 51.

As Hamilton returned to the pit lane on lap 22, with the race suspended, he left his cockpit before examining the back of his vehicle. However, just as he came in, the stewards announced that Vettel had been hit with a 10 second stop/go penalty for risky driving, pulling the race away from the Ferrari man just when it had been presented handed to him.

After 23 minutes, the race re-started at 6:15 p.m. local time behind a safety vehicle - and Raikkonen and Perez were back, albeit at the back of the grid. With Ricciardo out, the six-way fight for pole was down to just five.

The race stewards later found no evidence of Hamilton having brake tested Vettel as the German had claimed.

When talking to American broadcasters NBCSN, Vettel was equally evasive.

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