Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc will start on pole position in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after the spring break. His time beat Max Verstappen’s by over two tenths highly surprising the F1 world as the Maranello outfit was struggling at the start of the season. Sergio Perez also beat Max Verstappen to the other front-row position.
The Sprint weekend is making it’s debut in Azerbaijan and the new qualifying session came to a hectic close as the final eight-minute Q3 saw teams attempt to make ends meet with two flying laps on the same used set of tyres.
After dominating the timesheets with his first flying lap, Charles Leclerc crashed into the barrier at Turn 5 of the Baku circuit on his second. The Ferrari driver sought to improve on his already impressive time as he had track position over the Red Bulls, he failed to do so but the damage to his car is not critical, he had this to say:
“I don’t think there’s that much damage, only the front wing, But we will check absolutely everything to make sure there are no troubles for the start of the race. But it wasn’t too big of a crash.”
On the other hand, Mercedes driver George Russell produced a miracle lap to recover from a surprising Q2 exit on Friday, stealing fourth place from Carlos Sainz who was unlucky enough to have his flying lap ruined by his teammates crash. The Spaniard continues to struggle with the Ferrari concept compared to Leclerc.
The seven-time World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, will start the sprint race from sixth place with Alex Albon taking a wildly impressive seventh place ahead of the spectacular Alonso and his teammate who were both affected by a DRS issue.
The British driver Lando Norris rounds out the top 10 as he wasn’t able to take part in the Sprint Shootout as he was let out of the garage without the mandatory new set of soft tyres.
Baku Sprint Shootout Result
1) Charles Leclerc – Ferrari
2) Sergio Perez – Red Bull
3) Max Verstappen – Red Bull
4) George Russell – Mercedes
5) Carlos Sainz – Ferrari
6) Lewis Hamilton -Mercedes
7) Alexander Albon – Williams
8) Fernando Alonso – Aston Martin
9) Lance Stroll – Aston Martin
10) Lando Norris – McLaren