Vettel heads Hamilton in Baku FP3

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In this year's championship, he is nine points adrift of German four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.

Lewis Hamilton changed "pretty much everything on the car" to turn around his poor Friday practice pace and deliver Mercedes a front-row start at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. In Bahrain, he crashed in qualifying and collided with Hamilton in the race before retiring - and in China he slid off in a misjudged attempt to pass Hamilton before crashing into Vettel.

Ferrari's world championship-leader said he was "a bit greedy" on his final run while his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen cursed himself for a "painful" error that cost him pole.

Nico Hulkenberg's five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change will promote both Williams drivers by one position but they will still retain the ability to choose which tyres they start the race on.

However, Raikkonen got out of shape coming out of Turn 16 which cost him almost a second and a shot at pole.

Mr. Vettel said: "I was quiet in the auto, because I had to try to somehow bring the vehicle to the finish in order to save at least a few points". "Ferrari have been so dominant in the last couple of races pace-wise, we knew they would be quick here, which they have been all weekend".

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Vettel was issued a penalty for unsafe driving in Azerbaijan previous year after hitting Hamilton twice behind the safety vehicle, angered by what he saw as risky maneuvers from the British driver.

"It's been a smooth day", said Hamilton. "There were still areas where we were lacking but it's a work in progress I would say and to be that close to the Ferraris is definitely a positive".

"It will be an intense race, safety cars are very likely. We're in the mix, and I'm going to try to give Sebastian a hard time tomorrow".

Meanwhile, Stroll's teammate Sergey Sirotkin finished 12th, and will start ahead of McLaren's Fernando Alonso and Sauber's Charles LeClerc.

Who will come out on top in round four of Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull's battle for supremacy in F1 2018? "Both Red Bull and Ferrari seem to be ahead of us at the moment".

Actually, there were plenty of cars veering off as they endeavoured to slice hundredths off their times, with Pierre Gasly struggling to get his Toro Rosso turned round and back on track after an incident alongside team-mate Brendon Hartley, stricken with a puncture.