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Nico Rosberg will start the first F1 race to be held in Azerbaijan from pole position after an error-strewn performance by Lewis Hamilton ended with him clipping Baku's increasingly notorious walls to leave him tenth.

On a weekend that has seen Hamilton largely dominate in free practice for Mercedes, despite a number of offs as he found the limit of the circuit, he would endure a woeful qualifying session by out-braking himself to a stop in Q2 and Q3 before ending his session entirely when he clipped the inside wall at T10.

Prompting a red flag period, with no quick lap time on the board after running on at T15 on his first lap, the light but critical contact at the right-hand kink - similar to that of Max Verstappen in qualifying at Monaco - was enough to break his suspension and leave him out of the running.

As a result, the title chaser will start tenth on the grid, while championship leader Rosberg inherits pole position, the W07 showing its true rapid pace when it mattered as he ended up a full eight tenths clear of Sergio Perez.

A confidence-boosting but otherwise galling result for the Mexican, though it marks a career-best performance in isolation, a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change - the result of damage from a crash in FP3 - means he will get away from seventh.

As such, Daniel Ricciardo will start from the front row, the Australian confounding pre-race expectations that Red Bull would struggle as he produced a fine lap in a last gasp effort following the red flag period, grabbing third on the leaderboard with exactly the same time as Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen ensure an all-Ferrari second row in third and fourth, with Felipe Massa bouncing back from an average performance in free practice to emerge as Williams' leading contender in sixth place, which becomes fifth.

Indeed, his team-mate Valtteri Bottas had looked like a potential front row contender in Hamilton's absence - despite failing to lap in FP3 - but would twice lose time when he came up against a Red Bull in T1 on his best lap. He starts eighth, behind Daniil Kvyat, getting a good qualifying result on the board for Toro Rosso to go seventh - which becomes sixth - and out-qualifying ninth place Max Verstappen.

Further back, having shown so well in free practice, Nico Hulkenberg was the surprise casualty of a closely-matched Q2, the German spinning at T16 on his first flying lap before erroneously pitting when he believed he had enough time for another run in the closing stages.

As such, the German - who was third quickest in FP3 - will start 12th, behind Romain Grosjean, who equalled his and Haas' best qualifying performance of 2016 in 11th.

Out-qualified by team-mate Kvyat, Carlos Sainz will start 13th, with Fernando Alonso down in 14th ahead of Esteban Gutierrez and Felipe Nasr as McLaren's promising free practice form failed to materialise when it mattered in qualifying.

Nevertheless, Alonso - who complained of traffic in Q2 - still fared considerably better than Jenson Button, who not only failed to make it past Q1 but was out-qualified by Rio Haryanto and Pascal Wehrlein, the trio starting 17th, 18th and 19th.

Arguably the strongest qualifying performance yet by the minnow Manor team in F1, Button wasn't their only scalp and Renault flopped with Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer locking out the back row in 21st and 22nd.



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