Ros­berg on pole af­ter Hamil­ton crash

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

Lewis Hamil­ton's fraught de­fence of his ti­tle took yet an­other twist af­ter he crashed out of qual­i­fy­ing on For­mula One's in­au­gu­ral visit to Azer­bai­jan for the Euro­pean Grand Prix. Hamil­ton hit the bar­rier at turn 10 of the Baku Street Cir­cuit in the fi­nal phase of qual­i­fy­ing and will start only in 10th, while his cham­pi­onship ri­val Nico Ros­berg se­cured pole po­si­tion. “I couldn't tell you what the pos­si­bil­i­ties are for the race,” said Hamil­ton. “It’s dam­age lim­i­ta­tion from here. “The team made a change to some­thing overnight but I was just not on it.” Ros­berg, mean­while, was un­der­stand­ably pleased with his per­for­mance af­ter see­ing his cham­pi­onship lead over Hamil­ton re­duced from 43 to just nine points af­ter Canada. “It was great. It was one of the more chal­leng­ing ses­sions out there, but it worked out well,” he said. “The race I am sure is go­ing to be very ex­cit­ing. It is one of the eas­i­est tracks to over­take, so there is go­ing to be a lot of chang­ing places, a lot of safety cars and ex­cit­ing restarts. It should be a good show.” Force In­dia’s Ser­gio Perez would have joined Ros­berg on the front row but he will serve a five-place grid penalty fol­low­ing a gear­box change. He was the only driver within a sec­ond of Ros­berg. In­stead it will be Red Bull’s Daniel Ric­cia­rdo start­ing in sec­ond, with Fer­rari duo Se­bas­tian Vet­tel and Kimi Raikko­nen mak­ing up the sec­ond row.

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