Charles Leclerc made it two poles in a row after red flag fueled Azerbaijan qualifying, which saw four red flags during the session.
For the ninth time in his Formula One career Leclerc will line up from pole position, at least this weekend he hopes to make it round to his pole slot! The Monaco born driver had provisional pole after the opening runs of final qualifying, only for a red flag caused by Yuki Tsunoda see the session come to an abrupt close, leaving Leclerc on pole.
On the other side of the Scuderia Ferrari garage, Carlos Sainz Jr will line up in fifth place, however may fear that his Ferrari is wounded after taking avoiding action to dodge Tsunoda’s stricken AlphaTauri. Sainz locked up and span down the turn three run off, colliding with the barrier in the process, leaving the Ferrari mechanics praying that his Ferrari will not suffer the same misfortune as Leclerc did in Monaco.
Ferrari Racing Director Laurent Mekies did not expect pole position today, but will happily take it anyway even with the knowledge of pole being less important in Azerbaijan than it was in Monaco.
“Another pole for Charles, which was even more unexpected than the one two weeks ago in Monaco. We arrived in Baku believing that this would be a much more complicated weekend than the last race, but in fact our performance level was better than expected right from the start of practice, even though theoretically this track should be less suited to our car.”
“The team and the drivers did a great job over these past two days, improving the car for every session. Our qualifying performance, the best of any team if you look at the pair of results, is a fitting reward for that.”
“Carlos’ crash? He was caught off guard by the smoke from Tsunoda ahead of him.These things happen and anyway, it didn’t affect his result given that, because of the yellow flags, he would have had to slow down at that point on the track.”
“We can expect a very tough race tomorrow. Pole is not as important here as in Monaco, given that overtaking is commonplace. Yesterday, we saw that Red Bull and Mercedes were very quick over a long run. Tyre degradation will be a key factor, especially in the first stint. We will have to be ready for any eventuality, given that this race usually has all sorts of unexpected twists and turns.”