I knew I had the car I wanted - Vettel happy to extend qualifying streak

Despite starting on pole position, Sebastian Vettel knows Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix will be far from straightforward.

Sebastian Vettel celebrates after claiming pole position in Baku   -  Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel reflected on a job well done in qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix ahead of what he expects to be an "intense race" on Sunday.

The Ferrari driver claimed pole for a third successive race this season, clocking a fastest lap of 1:41.498 in the early stages of Q3.

Lewis Hamilton made a late charge but failed to better his title rival's time, leaving Vettel in a familiar position at the top of the timesheet.

"I felt the car was good in Q1 and Q2 and I knew I had the car I wanted," the German said.

"There were two tiny bits when it was not exactly perfect, so I knew in the second run I would have to go out and get it again. Fortunately, it was enough, so I'm really happy."

However, with Hamilton breathing down his neck - the Brit finished just 0.179 seconds behind Vettel in his Mercedes - the stage is set for a showdown between the top two in the overall standings.

The demanding Baku street circuit makes life far from easy for the drivers, though, and Vettel is predicting an action-packed race.

"It will be an intense race, safety cars are very likely," the four-time world champion added.

"Our car was really good this afternoon. Yesterday I struggled with confidence and trust in the car, which is important.

"We got pole so can't be much more happy."

Vettel appeared at one stage in danger of losing pole to team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, only for the Finn to make a costly mistake in the closing stages of his flying lap at the end of Q3, forcing him to settle for sixth place on the grid.

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