Azerbaijan GP: Charles Leclerc stuns Red Bulls to claim Baku pole for Ferrari

Azerbaijan GP: Charles Leclerc stuns Red Bulls to claim Baku pole for Ferrari

Baku, April 28, AZERTAC

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc produced a stunning performance to beat Max Verstappen to pole position in a chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix Qualifying, according to Sky Sports.

Having held championship aspirations ahead of the 2023 campaign, Ferrari have endured a torrid start to the season, but after the four-week break that followed the Australian Grand Prix they delivered a huge upturn in performance at the Baku City Circuit.

Having set an identical time to world championship leader Verstappen on their first runs in the final part of Qualifying, Leclerc was then able to improve with a 1:40.203 to top the Dutchman by almost 0.2s, with Sergio Perez a further tenth back in third in the other Red Bull.

Carlos Sainz was fourth for Ferrari, while Lewis Hamilton took fifth for Mercedes after team-mate George Russell was left 11th following a shock Q2 exit.

Leclerc's third successive pole in Azerbaijan provided a thrilling conclusion to an action-packed session, which had twice been interrupted in Q1 as crashes for AlphaTauri's Nyck de Vries and Alpine's Pierre Gasly brought out red flags.

Ahead of Sunday's main event there is a standalone Sprint double of qualifying and a shortened race on Saturday as Formula 1 debuts its newly-approved format for the first of six Sprint weekends scheduled for this season.

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