Charles Leclerc continued his unbroken run of pole positions in 2017 as he scooped top spot in qualifying in Azerbaijan on Friday.
After taking Feature race poles in Bahrain, Spain and Monaco, the Prema Racing driver was in great form once more around the Baku Street Circuit, and was more than half a second clear of Nobuharu Matsushita.
The session was held up three times by red flags, once for a crash for Luca Ghiotto and twice more for debris, but once it resumed, Leclerc stormed to the top of the time sheets with a lap of 1:52.129 seconds, 0.568 seconds clear of Matsushita despite the ART Grand Prix driver improving on his final run.
Despite clipping the turn 8 barriers and losing his front wing to cause the final red flag, Nicholas Latifi ended the session third for DAMS, 0.736 seconds, while practice pacesetter Nyck de Vries was fourth for Rapax, with the Dutchman the only other driver to be within a second of Leclerc’s pole time.
Artem Markelov ensured it was not a completely disappointing session for Russian Time with the fifth fastest time, but after his crash, his team-mate Ghiotto will start Saturday’s Feature race from the back of the grid.
Antonio Fuoco was sixth for Prema Racing, 1.091 seconds down on team-mate Leclerc, while Johnny Cecotto Jr, the most experienced man on the grid was seventh for Rapax ahead of Sergio Canamasas of Trident.
Oliver Rowland, who sits second in the championship heading into this weekend’s races, will start ninth on the grid in the second DAMS entry, while Robert Visoiu completes the top ten for Campos Racing ahead of Sergio Sette Câmara and Norman Nato.
Baku Street Circuit Qualifying Result
|1||1||Charles Leclerc||MON||Prema Racing||1:52.129|
|2||7||Nobuharu Matsushita||JAP||ART Grand Prix||1:52.697|
|4||18||Nyck de Vries||NED||Rapax||1:53.018|
|5||6||Artem Markelov||RUS||Russian Time||1:53.135|
|6||2||Antonio Fuoco||ITA||Prema Racing||1:53.220|
|7||19||Johnny Cecotto Jr||VEN||Rapax||1:53.313|
|10||12||Robert Visoiu||ROM||Campos Racing||1:53.670|
|11||14||Sergio Sette Camara||BRZ||MP Motorsport||1:53.853|
|12||20||Norman Nato||FRA||Pertamina Arden||1:53.900|
|13||21||Sean Gelael||INO||Pertamina Arden||1:54.032|
|14||4||Gustav Malja||SWE||Racing Engineering||1:54.286|
|15||15||Jordan King||GBR||MP Motorsport||1:54.295|
|16||11||Ralph Boschung||SWI||Campos Racing||1:54.339|
|17||8||Sergey Sirotkin||RUS||ART Grand Prix||1:54.384|
|18||3||Louis Deletraz||SWI||Racing Engineering||1:54.688|
|20||5||Luca Ghiotto||ITA||Russian Time||2:06.148|