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Published: 15:02 | 18/6/16

Rosberg takes pole for European Grand Prix


Mercedes' Nico Rosberg takes pole for Sunday's European Grand Prix in Baku, but Lewis Hamilton starts 10th after crash.

The German set a time of 1m42.758 in the final moments of the session at the Baku City Circuit to lead ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, who finished third quickest but moves up one place, with Force India's Sergio Perez in second dropping five places down the grid because of a gearbox rule violation.

"It was great, one of the more challenging sessions out there. Everything worked out well," championship leader Rosberg said.

"All weekend we have been building towards this and qualifying was really optimum."

"They've done a great job up to now, with the track especially. It was an exciting qualifying. It's one of the easiest places to overtakes so it should be an exciting race."

Perez rued the accident in final practice that prompted a gearbox change, and a five-place penalty for Sunday's race.

"It feels like pole. Obviously I am still a bit angry from the mistake of this morning but very happy and the lap we put together in Q3 was very strong," the Mexican said.

"It was a very difficult session and hopefully tomorrow we can aim for a very strong position. I will start from seventh and I think the team deserves more than this."

Rosberg's Mercedes' team-mate Lewis Hamilton starts tenth after clipping the inside wall at Turn 11.

"I can't really say yet what possibilities there are but obviously I have to try and get up as high as possible tomorrow," he said.

"It is damage limitation from here and I will do what I can."

Ricciardo will start ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel after improving his time by 1.3 seconds over his first run in Q3.

Vettel set the exact same time as the Australian, but will start behind him because he posted it later.

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