Formula 1, GP Baku: Rosberg takes the podium, Vettel second

Due to line up 10th on the grid, Hamilton said his job now was simply to try and limit the damage to his championship aspirations. It is very slippery and it takes a lot of focus because it is a real challenge.

"It was a special feeling in the vehicle because it felt like I could do whatever I wanted and the auto would just stick to the ground, so there was no risk of making a mistake".

With team radio communication clampdowns preventing the team from instructing him on changing the setting in the vehicle that was incorrect, Hamilton spent much of the race attempting to fix the issue, but while he would succeed eventually he had slipped too far behind the cars in front to consider recovering any more positions.

The drivers all kept the cars out of the barriers, and in an unexpectedly unexciting inaugural race on the streets of the Azerbaijani capital Baku, Rosberg was imperious and the battle was behind him. Mr. Pérez qualified 2nd for the race, beating out Daniel Ricciardo in 3rd and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in 4th.

Those sentiments were echoed by an approving Nico Hulkenberg on an encouraging day for the Force India team in which the German was fifth fastest and teammate Perez third.

"It was one of the more challenging sessions out there and everything worked out well", said Rosberg.

He will start from second because Force India's Sergio Perez - who was second fastest in qualifying - has to serve a five-place grid penalty.

Rosberg confirmed after the race he had the same problem, and calmly said: "It was just a matter of getting out of it with the right combination of switches". We have got more pace than most I think, so, as long as he gets a good start, he will be gone into the distance.

"Winning is all that counts - it is what I go to bed dreaming about".

"I felt a bit bad about it. I said sorry to the guys".

Ricciardo managed the fourth fastest time for Red Bull but finished his session early with just 13 laps to his name.

Kimi Raikkonen put his struggles in practice behind him to take fifth in the other Ferrari, with Felipe Massa then sixth for Williams and Daniil Kvyat seventh for Toro Rosso.

Unhappy about the safety of the circuit, the 2009 champion was eliminated along with Indonesian Rio Haryanto, who was a creditable 17th for Manor and his team-mate Pascal Wehrlein, 18th.

Jenson Button became the first McLaren driver this season to go out in Q1.

Haas F1' Romain Grosjean has missed out on Q3 and was the first to be eliminated in the second session of the race.

Any hope of a race for the lead was dashed immediately - Rosberg was a second a lap quicker throughout.

Behind them, Swede Marcus Ericsson of Sauber was 20th ahead of the two Renaults of Dane Kevin Magnussen and Briton Jolyon Palmer.

Microsoft lets you eradicate Windows 10 bloatware with new tool
'Pokemon GO' Guide: 5 Tips To Help Beginners In The Game