F1: Leclerc wins pole again, this time in Baku
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is becoming the qualifying master of F1, winning yet another pole position, this time for the Azerbaijan GP in Baku.
Four consecutive pole positions for Leclerc. Six pole position from the first eight race weekends.
Leclerc’s lap of 1m41.359s beat the Red Bull’s of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen by 0.282s and 0.347s respectively.
“Ah – it feels good! This one I probably did not expect it because I thought Red Bull were faster but extremely happy,” said Leclerc. “I’m really excited for tomorrow, tire management is a big thing here, our race pace has done a step-up so tomorrow will be very interesting.
“Yeah, Q3 is when you go balls out, and I hit the wall a couple of times, said 2nd quick Perez. “At the end we had a problem with the engine, we couldn’t turn it on and I was out on my own with no tow, who knows how much [I lost], would it have been enough for pole, who knows.”
“The start of the lap was good, but then it went away from me, tiny mistakes. Still as a team, second and third, we have a good opportunity tomorrow, said Verstappen
Carlos Sainz Jr. was 4th in the #55 Ferrari 0.455s behind his consistently faster teammate.
George Russell rounded out the top-5 for Mercedes, but 1.353s behind. More importantly, he once again beat his teammate Lewis Hamilton, proving that Hamilton was overrated all these years because he had a superior car and inferior teammate. This year Russell is eating his lunch, and Hamilton’s real skill, or lack thereof, has been exposed for all to see.
Gasly was sixth and Hamilton seventh. Tsunoda, Vettel and Alonso rounded out the top 10.
Q2 saw both McLarens and both Alfa Romeos eliminated: Lando Norris 11th and Daniel Ricciardo 12th; Zhou Guanyu 14th and Valtteri Bottas 15th. Between those orange and red pairs was the blue Alpine driver, Esteban Ocon.
Haas’s Kevin Magnussen was left in Q1, taking a provisional P16 on the grid, Williams drivers Alex Albon 17th and Nicholas Latifi 18th.
Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll crashed out of Q1 and will start a provisional P19 on the grid ahead of Haas’s Mick Schumacher, 20th.
|1||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||1m42.865s||1m42.046s||1m41.359s|
|2||Sergio Perez||MEX||Oracle Bull Racing||1m42.733s||1m41.955s||1m41.641s|
|3||Max Verstappen||NED||Oracle Red Bull Racing||1m42.722s||1m42.227s||1m41.706s|
|4||Carlos Sainz||ESP||Scuderia Ferrari||1m42.957s||1m42.088s||1m41.814s|
|5||George Russell||GBR||Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1m43.754s||1m43.281s||1m42.712s|
|6||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri||1m43.268s||1m43.129s||1m42.845s|
|7||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1m43.939s||1m43.182s||1m42.924s|
|8||Yuki Tsunoda||JPN||Scuderia AlphaTauri||1m43.595s||1m43.376s||1m43.056s|
|9||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team||1m43.279s||1m43.268s||1m43.091s|
|10||Fernando Alonso||ESP||BWT Alpine F1 Team||1m44.083s||1m43.360s||1m43.173s|
|11||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||1m44.237s||1m43.398s|
|12||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||McLaren F1 Team||1m44.437s||1m43.574s|
|13||Esteban Ocon||FRA||BWT Alpine F1 Team||1m43.903s||1m43.585s|
|14||Guanyu Zhou||CHN||Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen||1m43.777s||1m43.790s|
|15||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen||1m44.478s||1m44.444s|
|16||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||Haas F1 Team||1m44.643s|
|17||Alexander Albon||THA||Williams Racing||1m44.719s|
|18||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||1m45.367s|
|19||Lance Stroll||CAN||Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team||1m45.371s|
|20||Mick Schumacher||GER||Haas F1 Team||1m45.775s|