Hamilton takes pole in Baku, the 66th of his career
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton beat team-mate Valtteri Bottas to pole in Azerbaijan, the fifth time he has emerged top in qualifying this season.
Lewis Hamilton snatched pole position for Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix after eclipsing Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas with a phenomenal final qualifying lap on Saturday.
Hamilton on pole in Baku
The three-time world champion starts ahead of Bottas with Ferrari duo Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, the championship leader, occupying the second row of the grid.
Hamilton claimed the 66th pole of his career, pulling clear of Brazilian great Ayrton Senna and leaving the Briton just two shy of Michael Schumacher's record of 68.
His quickest lap of 1min 40.593sec came in the final seconds of the session following a red-flagged stoppage which turned the finale into a 3min 30sec showdown. The 32-year-old bounced back from a frustrating practice outing on Friday to clinch his fifth pole in eight races this season as Mercedes locked out the front row.
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.
Lewis: "I am so pumped"
"That was one of the most exciting laps I have had all year," said an ecstatic Hamilton. "A lot of pressure as we've been struggling with getting temperature into the tyres - I was just praying it was enough.
"I am so pumped - that's how qualifying should be. It is going to be a long hard race, but it's the best place to start."
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