For the fourth consecutive time, Ferrari’s Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc set the fastest time in a qualifying session, this time at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and will start from pole position on Sunday in the eighth round of the season.
Leclerc will be accompanied on the front row of the starting grid by the Mexican Sergio Pérez (Red Bull), while just behind will start the Dutchman Max Verstappen (3rd), leader of the World Cup, and the Spanish Carlos Sainz Jr (4th).
In Q3, a session in which the ten fastest drivers participate, Leclerc set a time of 1:41.359 this Saturday, almost three tenths faster than Pérez (1:41.641).
It is the fourth consecutive ‘pole’ for Leclerc and the sixth of eight possible for the Monegasque this season, which however has not translated into victories, since the Mexican won the last Grand Prix in Monaco and Verstappen the previous two (Spain and the United States). Joined).
“It feels very good. All pole positions are nice, but I didn’t necessarily expect this one. I thought the Red Bulls were faster, they were very strong in Q1 and Q2,” Leclerc reacted.
“I’m really looking forward to tomorrow (Sunday). For sure tire management will be key here. We managed it in Barcelona and Monaco, although it was hardly visible in Monaco. I think it has evolved,” added the 24-year-old.
The top four riders were the only ones to lose one minute and 42 seconds on the Baku street track. The fifth, the Englishman George Russell (Mercedes), was already more than a second behind Leclerc (1:42.712).
Completing the Top 10 were Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) and Fernando Alonso (Alpine), who set a best time of 1:43.173.
– Three drivers in 15 points –
After seven races played, the top three classified in the Formula 1 World Championship arrive this weekend at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in a handkerchief of 15 points and any of them could leave the Baku street circuit as the leader of the championship.
Max Verstappen (Red Bull) leads the World Championship with 125 points, to 116 from Charles Leclerc and 110 from Sergio Pérez, who recently renewed his contract with the Red Bull team.
Baku’s street circuit mixes long straights, with heavy braking and twistier parts, often resulting in exciting and unpredictable racing. Last year, Verstappen lost the race with a puncture with just five laps to go.
That allowed the Mexican Sergio Pérez to win his first race at the wheel of a Red Bull, and his second after winning the Bahrain GP in Shakir in 2020, at the controls of a Racing Point.