Leclerc secures Azerbaijan GP pole after Monaco disappointment

MAXIM SHEMETOV / AFP / Getty

Charles Leclerc claimed pole position for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, this time without crashing.

The Ferrari driver secured his second straight pole on Saturday, but was unable to start his hometown Monaco GP two weeks ago due to damage to his car sustained in the third round of qualifying.

"It was quite a shit lap I thought," Leclerc said of his pace-setting trip around Baku City Circuit. "I did not expect to be as competitive as we are today, I thought I was improving before the red flag - but I'm happy anyway."

Leclerc outpaced both Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's Max Verstappen, both of whom are fighting for the championship lead.

Pos. Driver Team Time
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:41.218
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.232
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull +0.345
4 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri +0.347
5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari --
6 Sergio Perez Red Bull +0.699
7 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri --
8 Fernando Alonso Alpine +1.109
9 Lando Norris McLaren +0.529*
10 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +1.441
11 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Q2
12 Esteban Ocon Alpine Q2
13 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Q2
14 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Q2
15 George Russell Williams Q2
16 Nicolas Latifi Williams Q1
17 Nikita Mazepin Haas Q1
18 Mick Schumacher Haas Q1
19 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Q1
20 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Q1

Following the qualifying session, McLaren's Lando Norris was given a three-place grid penalty for failing to obey red flag procedures during Q1. Qualifying at sixth, Norris will begin Sunday's Azerbaijan GP from ninth.

The Q3 session came to an abrupt end when Yuki Tsunoda crashed into the wall, causing Carlos Sainz to go off track and also sustain front wing damage.

Saturday's Azerbaijan GP qualifying featured four red flags total. Aside from Tsunoda and Sainz, both Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi and Aston Martin's Lance Stroll crashed early in Q1 while McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo put his car in the wall during Q2.

"It was a stupid qualifying to be honest, but it is what it is," Verstappen said following the session. "It's a street circuit so these things can happen, our car is strong so hopefully tomorrow we can score good points"

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Leclerc secures Azerbaijan GP pole after Monaco disappointment
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