Formula 1. Baku GP: Leclerc is on top ahead of Verstappen and Red Bulls of Perez

After eight sessions, Charles Leclerc is the boss of the qualifications this season.

Formula 1. Baku GP: Leclerc is on top ahead of Verstappen and Red Bulls of Perez

After eight sessions, Charles Leclerc is the boss of the qualifications this season. The Monegasque will be starting from pole position at the Baku Grand Prix in Azerbaijan for the sixth year and fourth consecutively. This marks Charles Leclerc’s 15th career pole position. He will be at the wheel of his Ferrari ahead of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen. Perez won in Monaco two weeks back.

It feels good," says the poleman. Although all pole positions are pleasant, this one was not what I expected. The Red Bulls were quicker, and they were strong in Q1 as well as Q2. Charles Leclerc's goal this time is to consolidate this pole position in victory after the three disappointments of Miami and Barcelona, and therefore, Monaco. Leclerc says, "I really look forward to tomorrow." Tire management will be a key factor. In Barcelona and Monaco we succeeded, even though it was hard to see in Monaco. We have definitely evolved, I believe.

Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), who took the best spot of the season, was another fine performer. He will start on the sixth row, along with George Russel, from the third row. Russell, who qualified in his Mercedes fifth, is now ahead of Lewis Hamilton (7th).

Esteban Ocon was more involved. Esteban Ocon, an Alpine driver who was always in the top 10 during practice, was stopped by the yellow flag, preventing him from finishing a quick final lap during Q2. At 1 p.m., the Frenchman will start in 13th place in the paddok.

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