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Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix 2019 Qualifying: Saturday's Results, Times, Final Grid

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2019

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - APRIL 27: Valtteri Bottas driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 on track during final practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan at Baku City Circuit on April 27, 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Valtteri Bottas will start the 2019 Azerbaijan Formula One Grand Prix from pole position on Sunday after beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to top spot in a dramatic qualifying session.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel took third place behind the two Silver Arrows, but team-mate Charles Leclerc will start down in 10th place after crashing in Q2.

Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen will start alongside Vettel in fourth, while Racing Point's Sergio Perez will start from an impressive fifth place on the grid.

Here are the results from qualifying:

Formula 1 @F1

QUALIFYING CLASSIFICATION: Bottas pips his team mate Hamilton to pole as @MercedesAMGF1 claim their 60th front-row lock out 💪 #AzerbaijanGP 🇦🇿 #F1 https://t.co/nqLEVcN4TU

Ferrari dominated the practice sessions and did the same early during the first qualifying session, as Leclerc became the first driver to duck underneath the one-minute, 42-second mark.

Mercedes took some time finding their footing but eventually improved, bridging the gap there had been during practice.

Red Bull also found some pace late in the session, with Pierre Gasly knocking the Monegasque out of the top spot.

The Frenchman knew his eventual finishing position in qualifying wouldn't mean much, as he'll start from the pit lane:

Formula 1 @F1

ICYMI, Pierre Gasly will start from the pitlane on Sunday after failing to stop for the weighbridge at the end of second practice Full story >> https://t.co/dYjl5deb6E #AzerbaijanGP #F1 https://t.co/GdJPcm2udB

Renault struggled in FP2 and didn't have a great outing in FP3, either, and their start to qualifying was hardly ideal.

Minutes into the first session, Daniel Ricciardo was told the team had no data, leaving him without crucial info on a busy track:

Autosport Live @autosportlive

"Watch your mirrors, we've lost all data here."That's Renault reporting it can't let Ricciardo know who is around him. #F1

The Australian eventually worked himself out of the drop zone after a difficult session, shortly before Williams' Robert Kubica shunted, bringing out the red flag. Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean were among the drivers to miss out on Q2.

The shunt was a big one:

Formula 1 @F1

Q1 RED FLAG: Kubica into the wall at Turn 8 The Pole has radioed to say he is OK 👍 #AzerbaijanGP 🇦🇿 #F1 https://t.co/4GE3PotrSF

Drivers were forced to wait while the track was cleared, adding an extra element of strategy. As the temperature dropped, Ferrari took a risk by opting for medium tyres, while everyone else ventured out on the soft compound.

Leclerc's first time was reasonably close to that of the Silver Arrows, but Vettel was well off the pace. Once Perez went faster than the younger Ferrari driver, it became clear the Scuderia had made a tactical error.

But things got much worse for the team shortly after. Leclerc, who had been the fastest man on track for most of the weekend, hit the wall in the same spot Kubica did, ending his session.

The 21-year-old was furious with himself:

Autosport Live @autosportlive

"I am stupid. I am stupid," says Leclerc on the radio. #F1

The crash brought out another red flag and another delay. Liquid coming from the car made things more difficult for the marshals, and the lengthy break meant the end of the session would take place in the fading light.

The session eventually restarted with Carlos Sainz, Ricciardo, Alexander Albon, Kevin Magnussen and Gasly all missing out on Q3.

Ricciardo will start down in 12th place in the Renault:

Renault F1 Team @RenaultF1Team

Daniel returns from this run and it’s P12. ⏱ 1:42.477 #RSspirit #AzerbaijanGP #Q2 https://t.co/jxl4fkVrBG

The final session saw Verstappen, Hamilton, Bottas and Vettel all vying for pole position in a dramatic finish. Bottas was the man to come up with the goods, setting a new track record of 1:40.495 to secure top spot ahead of Hamilton and secure an all Mercedes front row.    

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