Rosberg on pole after Hamilton crash
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.