On the Baku street circuit, Charles Leclerc and Ferrari have caused a big surprise for the second race weekend in a row by taking pole position. Despite a difficult race weekend so far, Lewis Hamilton managed to set the second fastest time, ahead of Max Verstappen.
During the practice sessions we saw several drivers make mistakes on the treacherous street circuit of Baku and that was also the case during qualifying. After all, qualifying was only a few minutes away and we saw Lance Stroll drive his Aston Martin F1 car into the wall.
We immediately received a red flag so that the track marshals could remove Stroll’s car and clear the debris from the track. However, after qualifying resumed, it crashed again in Turn 15. This time it was Antonio Giovinazzi who raised the second red flag of the session.
Due to the two red flags, many riders were unable to set a lap time and that clearly caused the necessary nervousness when resuming the session.
Finally at the end of Q1 we found the two Red Bulls on top and after a nervous Q1 we hopefully got a second qualifying section with fewer interruptions.
The devil was clearly at the end of the session in Q2 as Daniel Ricciardo crashed in his McLaren with just over a minute left on the clock. Too little time left to restart the session and Q2 was immediately over.
In the end we also found both Red Bulls on top at the end of Q2. However, the lap times were extremely close as Verstappen, Perez, Hamilton, Tsunoda and Leclerc were within a margin of 0.034 seconds. So everything is incredibly close together and undoubtedly the harbinger of an exciting battle for pole in Q3.
On the first attempt in Q3 we saw Charles Leclerc doing a great lap. The Monegask drove an almost perfect lap as at the end of the lap he took advantage of a slipstream from Lewis Hamilton to claim provisional pole position with a time of 1:41.218.
Hamilton had to concede more than two tenths while Max Verstappen, Pierre Gasly and teammate Carlos Sainz were more than three tenths slower. However, a second ultimate attempt in the battle for pole followed.
A lot of nervousness at the end of qualifying as the drivers slowed down a lot to avoid slipstreaming each other during the fast lap. In the end everyone went full throttle and we saw the Japanese Yuki Tsunoda crash into the wall. So again a red flag and Charles Leclerc was sure of pole position.
Unlike in Monaco, Leclerc will be able to start the race from first place this time with Lewis Hamilton next to him on the front row. The big loser was Max Verstappen, at Red Bull you could read the disappointment on the face because the Dutchman was top favorite for pole position.
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:42.241s 1:41.659s 1:41.218s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:41.545s 1:41.634s 1:41.450s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:41.760s 1:41.625s 1:41.563s
4 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1:42.288s 1:41.932s 1:41.565s
5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1: 42.121s 1: 41.740s 1: 41.576s
6 Lando Norris McLaren 1:42.167s 1:41.813s 1:41.747s
7 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1: 41.968s 1: 41.630s 1: 41.917s
8 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1: 42.521s 1: 41.654s 1: 42.211s
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1:42.934s 1:42.195s 1:42.327s
10 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:42.701s 1:42.106s 1:42.659s
11 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1:42.460s 1:42.224s
12 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:42.426s 1:42.273s
13 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1:42.304s 1:42.558s
14 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo 1:42.923h 1:42.587s
15 George Russell Williams 1:42.728s 1:42.758s
16 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1:43.128s
17 Mick Schumacher Haas 1:44.158s
18 Nikita Mazepin Haas 1:44.238s
19 Lance Stroll Aston Martin
20 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo
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