Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) won pole position today for the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan, the eighth round of the season, becoming the first driver to score a double at this city track.
Leclerc had a time of 1.41.359 minutes and beat second-placed Mexican Sérgio Pérez (Red Bull) by 0.282 seconds. Dutch champion Max Verstappen (Red Bull), the reigning champion, was third at 0.347 seconds.
The second Ferrari, driven by Spaniard Carlos Sainz, was fourth at 0.455 seconds. From there, the differences against the leader are already measured in seconds, as the British George Russell (Mercedes), who was once again the best ‘of the others’, was 1.353 seconds.
This was Leclerc’s fourth consecutive pole, who, however, has not been taking advantage of his first-place finish, as Red Bull has won the last three races.
With this mark, Leclerc reached 15 poles in his career, sixth of the season, surpassing Max Verstappen, who has 14.
“Knows well. All poles know it well, but this one didn’t expect it, because Red Bull was strong. I got a good last lap”, explained the Monegasque, who hasn’t won since round three in Australia.
Leclerc assumed that “tire management will be fundamental” for the race, so it will be “interesting” to see how the teams manage the rubbers.
Verstappen, who arrives at this race in the lead of the championship, admitted to having made “small mistakes”, so it was not “the result he wanted”, but it turned out to be “positive for the team”. The world champion hopes to be able to fight for the victory: “Our car must be good for many laps”.
Sérgio Pérez complained of “an engine problem”, which prevented him from fighting for pole, as he was late leaving the garage and no longer caught any ‘air cone’.
“It will be a long race and many mistakes can be made”, he added.
This afternoon’s qualifying session started practically with a red flag situation due to a touch by Canadian Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) on the barriers, which knocked off the front right wheel of his car.
The Azerbaijan GP is the eighth race of the championship.
Max Verstappen leads the championship with 125 points, nine more than Leclerc, who is second.
Source: With Agencies