Baku European F1

Rosberg on pole during messy Baku qualifying

Nico Rosberg has struck back after two poor races by claiming pole in Baku with main championship rival Lewis Hamilton starting from P10 after clipping the wall.

Rosberg was pleased but pessimistic ahead of what it sure to be an eventful race. 

"It's one of the easiest tracks to overtake," said Rosberg. "There's going to be a lot of changing places and safety cars."

Daniel Ricciardo will start alongside Rosberg having out-qualified teammate Verstappen for the third time in succession. The two Ferrari's will line up behind him, and all have benefitted from the five-spot grid penalty that Sergio Perez has incurred having changed his gearbox after putting together a lap good enough for P2.

 You'd expect the Mercedes powered cars to be filling the top rows of the grid, however Nico Hulkenberg lost track of his programme and didn't get a flying lap down before the end of Q2, while Bottas in the Williams aborted a flying lap during the red flag period, then jumped out the garage unsafely ahead of Vettel and then was obscured by traffic on his final run.

It'll be a miracle if all twenty-two cars finish the race tomorrow, but if there's any team that can maximise their performance through safety car strategy it'll be Mercedes. I'd still be backing Rosberg to win if he has a clean race, but Ricciardo and even Vettel could be a handful off the start.

I know Le Mans is on, but boy... you won't want to miss this race.