Charles Leclerc has unleashed a blinding show of velocity across the unforgiving Baku road monitor to place his Ferrari on pole place for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The Monegasque, taking his fourth pole in a row and sixth from eight races this season, will line up alongside the Pink Bull of Sergio Perez after beating the Monaco-winning Mexican by 0.282 seconds on Saturday.
His championship rival Max Verstappen, who leads the 24-year-old by 9 factors within the total standings, will line up on the second row of the grid in third, alongside Leclerc’s Ferrari staff mate Carlos Sainz.
One other disappointing outing for McLaren’s struggling Daniel Ricciardo noticed the Australian qualifying solely twelfth.
Leclerc’s qualifying efficiency, although, earned him his fifteenth profession pole.
It additionally made the Leclerc the primary driver to take a repeat pole in Baku, having additionally began final 12 months’s Azerbaijan race from the entrance.
“This one I did not count on and I believed Pink Bull have been stronger,” he stated.
“Within the final lap all the pieces got here collectively.”
Verstappen and Perez had taken turns on the prime of the timesheets throughout the first two phases of qualifying.
However Perez reported an engine situation whereas his Dutch teammate, who set free a pissed off sigh over the staff radio, stated his automotive didn’t fairly have the tempo to take the struggle to his Ferrari rival.
The pair’s Pink Bull staff boss Christian Horner, nevertheless, assured each drivers that they have been nonetheless very a lot within the struggle for the win on Sunday.
“At a monitor you may overtake at, hopefully we may give them a tough time tomorrow,” he stated.
Leclerc, who regardless of his streak of pole positions took his final win on the Australian Grand Prix in March, is aware of pole on Saturday is simply half the job achieved.
The Monegasque, who misplaced what gave the impression to be straightforward wins within the final two races in Spain and Monaco to reliability and technique gremlins, will probably be aiming to keep up the Baku race’s file of manufacturing a brand new winner annually.
There was loads of drama on the Azerbaijan monitor, which runs round a barrier-lined structure.
Throughout qualifying, Lance Stroll crashed his Aston Martin to convey out the crimson flags within the hour-long session’s opening section.
The Canadian’s staff mate Sebastian Vettel additionally planted his Aston Martin within the obstacles however was in a position to proceed.
Lewis Hamilton was summoned by the stewards for slowing down forward of McLaren’s Lando Norris.
Alexander Albon vented his frustration over the staff radio, calling for Alpine’s Fernando Alonso to be penalised after the Spaniard appeared to drive off the monitor and down the escape highway proper in entrance of the Thai driver’s Williams.
George Russell certified forward of Mercedes staff mate Hamilton for the third race in a row to take best-of-the-rest honours in fifth.
Pierre Gasly put his AlphaTauri sixth forward of the seven-times world champion.
The Frenchman’s staff mate Yuki Tsunoda was eighth forward of Vettel and Alonso who rounded out the top-10.
Qualifying obtained underway quarter-hour late because of a Formulation Two crash that broken the obstacles and pushed again the beginning of ultimate follow.