Lewis Hamilton feels Mercedes are back “in the mix” in Baku and plans on giving pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel “a hard time” in Sunday’s race.
Hamilton improved on his final hot lap in qualifying to narrow the gap to Vettel to 0.179 seconds, who was fortunate that Kimi Raikkonen could not upstage him after losing the rear of the car at Turn 16.
It has been far from plain-sailing for Mercedes this season and this weekend, but the Brit is encouraged that they are right there with Ferrari and can attack in the race.
“That was close. We did the best job we could. It was very very close,” Hamilton said.
“I lost a bit in the last sector and Sebastian did a great job.
“They were quickest all weekend and they obviously have a phenomenal car this year.
“But I’m really happy with what the team did to get us from where we were yesterday to today.
“We are in the mix. I will try to give Sebastian a hard time tomorrow.”
Team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who will line up from P3, is confident Mercedes can take the fight to Ferrari.
He said: “For sure. We are there with both cars now. We are starting very close and the race here can be crazy.”