Azerbaijan GP: Leclerc takes pole in Baku after multiple red-flagged qualifying

After four red flags, Charles Leclerc took pole position with a time of 1m41.218s after his challenging weekend last time out in Monaco.

The Monegasque will be joined by Lewis Hamilton on the front row who produced a tremendous effort to find his pace and secure a grid spot upfront.

Behind the Ferrari and Mercedes will be the Red Bull of Max Verstappen who had a very quiet session in comparison to the rest of the grid.

Pierre Gasly matched a personal-best career qualifying performance in fourth.

Sainz managed to secure himself fifth position on the grid despite the red-flag wreckage with Yuki Tsunoda from the tail end of Q3. Lando Norris placed himself in sixth behind the Ferrari followed by the Red Bull of Sergio Perez in seventh.

Despite the fitful session, Tsunoda had his own victory as he made an appearance in Q3 for the first time in his Formula 1 career and placed himself in eighth position on the starting grid for tomorrow.

In ninth spot was Fernando Alonso making his first ever Q3 appearance in Baku, ahead of a disappointed Valtteri Bottas in 10th.

The red flag was no stranger to the drivers in Baku today with four deployed instances.

Lance Stroll was the first to see the red flag after just 4 minutes of qualifying as he locked up into the barrier of Turn 15.

Antonio Giovinazzi also fell victim to Turn 15 as he deployed the second red flag of the session only 6 minutes after the session restart. The Italian will start from the back on the grid tomorrow behind Lance Stroll.

Daniel Ricciardo was another to face the walls of Baku as he drifted into Turn 3 to reveal the third red flag of the session and brought Q2 to an abrupt ending. He starts in 13th place.

Frustrations then rose for Sebastian Vettel as he was ultimately prevented of a place in Q3 leaving him down in 11th as Esteban Ocon also succumbed to the red flag.

A final red flag was waved after Yuki Tsunoda and Carlos Sainz both had an immense encounter with Turn 15 to bring the Qualifying 3 session to an abrupt close.

Will tomorrow’s race be the chance for redemption for Leclerc after his heartbreak weekend last time out at his home track?

Qualifying Classification
Position Drivers Team
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing
4 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri
5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari
6 Lando Norris McLaren
7 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing
8 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine
10 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes
11 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin
12 Esteban Ocon Alpine
13 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren
14 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo
15 George Russell Williams
16 Nicholas Latifi Williams
17 Mick Schumacher Haas
18 Nikita Mazepin Haas
19 Lance Stroll Aston Martin
20 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo