Leclerc secured pole position in Azerbaijan



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Leclerc secured pole position in Azerbaijan

Charles Leclerc won second pole position this season and ninth in his F1 career after an earlier Q3 finish due to a Yuki Tsunoda collision after three other drivers had previously crashed and Lewis Hamilton will start second in front of Max Verstappen.

Leclerc was the fastest after the first Q3 attempts ahead of Hamilton, Verstappen, Gasly, Sainz, Norris, Perez, Alonso, and Bottas, but the drivers had no other attempts as Tsunoda crashed in the third corner after which Sainz continued straight in the same turn.

Verstappen finished third for Red Bull and Gasly fourth for AlphaTauri who opted for just one quick lap after all the drivers had driven their first Q3 laps. Sainz finished fifth in the second Ferrari ahead of Norris in McLaren, and Perez was only seventh in the second Red Bull after very good free practice.

Despite the collision, Tsunoda finished eighth for AlphaTauri ahead of Alonso, who advanced to Q3 for the second time this season, and Bottas was tenth fastest after giving Hamilton a lee in the first Q3 laps.

Other drivers

Vettel missed a pass in Q3 for Aston Martin in just 0.029 seconds after Ricciardo, who finished 13th for McLaren, crashed in the third corner and stopped the qualifiers a minute and 29 seconds before the end, causing Q2 to be finished.

Ocon finished in 12th place as he also didn’t get the last chance to fix his time, and Raikkonen and Russel finished 14th and 15th. Stroll crashed at the start of Q1 in his Aston Martin AMR21 in turn 15 where Verstappen crashed in third practice and caused the first red flag, and qualifying continued at 2:15 p.m.

Verstappen set the fastest time 1: 41,760, and Perez held second place with two-tenths of a second behind while Ferrari drivers Sainz and Leclerc held third and fourth place. And while only ten riders managed to set the time per lap, Giovinazzi caused a second Q1 break by crashing into the same bend as Stroll which again delayed the continuation of qualifying which resumed nine minutes before the Q1 timeout.

Hamilton took advantage of better track conditions in the late Q1 phase and set the fastest time ahead of the two Red Bull drivers while Norris separated the Ferrari drivers at McLaren. Latifi did not pass in Q2, unlike Russell, and finished 17th fastest for Williams ahead of two Haas drivers: Schumacher and Mazepin, while Stroll and Giovinazzi finished last and they were the only ones who did not set the time per lap.