Leclerc again poleman by KO in Baku!

The Monegasque dominated an incredibly competitive session, punctuated by 4 red flags, and once again concluded prematurely.


Published on 05/06/2021 à 15:47


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Leclerc again poleman by KO in Baku!

The Ferrari driver signs a 2nd consecutive pole position, in once again somewhat strange conditions / © DPPI

For the 2nd time in a row, Charles Leclerc benefits from a red flag in the final moments of Q3 to take pole position. But unlike Monaco, the pilot Ferrari had nothing to do with the incident which cut short an incredibly thrilling qualifying session on the treacherous boulevards of Baku. 

Holder of provisional pole position after an excellent first attempt in Q3, Leclerc was launched into his final flying lap when a red flag, the 4th of the afternoon, was waved. The reason: a double accident which occurred at turn 3, first with the crash of Yuki tsunoda (Alpha Tauri), followed a few seconds later by the spin of Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) in the same area. 

As in Monaco two weeks ago, qualifying could not be completed, depriving the 10 drivers present in Q3 of a final attempt. In the end, Leclerc took the 9th pole position of his young career with a time of 1'41"218. The Monegasque had benefited during his best lap from a good aspiration in the wake of Lewis Hamilton. While the pilot Mercedes expected to suffer, the Briton pulls out a nice number to invite himself to the front row, 0”232 behind the leading Ferrari

Hamilton is above all a tenth ahead of his great rival and the current leader of the world championship Max Verstappen. The pilot Red Bull had to settle for 3rd place and he looked quite annoyed after this new setback at the end of Q3. 

The Dutchman precedes a superb Pierre Gasly, 4th at the wheel of his AlphaTauri. The Frenchman may, however, have some regrets given his pace this afternoon. He still equals his best career qualifying result. Despite his spin, which deprived him of his front wing, Sainz will start 5th on the starting grid on Sunday, ahead of his former teammate McLaren Lando Norris

The young Englishman is, however, the subject of an investigation by the Baku stewards for not having entered the pits immediately when one of the red flags was waved in Q1. Norris, who had headed towards the pit lane, then changed his mind in a moment of hesitation which could cost him dearly. 

Small disappointment for Sergio Pérez, only 7th while the Mexican seemed to have the weapons to play for pole in Azerbaijan. After his contact with the wall at turn 3, Tsunoda finished 8th fastest for his first appearance in Q1. Fernando Alonso is the only representative Alpine in the Top 10. The double world champion will start 9th, ahead Valtteri Bottas, big loser of this Q3 where he did not benefit from any aspiration on the endless boulevards of Baku.

Ended prematurely with a red flag, the 3rd of the session, caused by the exit of the track Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren), Q2 stalled Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), Esteban Ocon (Alpine), Ricciardo therefore, Kimi Räikkönen (Alfa Romeo), and George Russell (Williams), who was able to participate in the session narrowly despite an express and late engine change between FP3 and qualifying.

Having made a mistake in Q1 at turn 15, Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) and Lance stroll (Aston Martin) will start from the back row after hitting the wall and causing the first two red flags of the day during the opening segment of qualifying. The Italian and the Canadian were accompanied in the first cart of those eliminated by the Williams of Nicholas latifi (16th) and the pilots Haas, Mick Schumacher before Nikita mazepin

Leclerc-Hamilton-Verstappen, the leading trio clearly has good looks, without forgetting Gasly in ambush. This promises a fire outbreak in the country of the same element on Sunday at 16:00 p.m. (14:00 p.m. French time).


AUTOhebdo deputy editor-in-chief. The feather dipped in gall.

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