Jolyon Palmer was unable to participate in qualifying in Baku after a fire on his Renault during FP3. That meant there were just four drivers dropped out in Q1, but they were the usual suspects – McLaren, Sauber and Haas.
In Q2, both the Toro Rosso drivers dropped out, as well as the other half of the Sauber, Haas and Renault teams, meaning both Force India and both Williams drivers were in Q3. Stroll got to drive in his first top ten shootout, having previously qualified for Q3 but crashing out.
This time it was Daniel Ricciardo who crashed, bumping his Red Bull into the barriers and halting his run. The incident brought out the red flags, which meant the final shot at pole position was just over three minutes long, piling the pressure on everyone. Lewis Hamilton dealt with that pressure the best, finishing almost half a second faster than teammate Bottas, who scooped second. Ferrari locked out the second row of the grid, with Verstappen in fifth.