Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took pole position in qualifying for the first Friday of the new sprint weekend format for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the fourth round of the 2023 Formula 1 world championship.
Leclerc will start ahead of the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in Sunday’s race, which follows Friday’s one-hour qualifying session, split into three divisions, with five cars each knocked out before a top-10 shootout. of Q3.
This is the first weekend run for the latest sprint race weekend format, with another qualifying session tomorrow for Saturday’s sprint event in Baku.
Azerbaijan Grand Prix qualifying results: Leclerc on Verstappen’s pole
|2||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda RBPT||1’40.391||0.188|
|3||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull/Honda RBPT||1’40.495||0.292|
|4||55||Carlos Sainz Jr||Ferrari||1’41.016||0.813|
|6||14||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin/Mercedes||1’41.253||1.050|
|8||22||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT||1’41.581||1.378|
|9||18||Lance walks||Aston Martin/Mercedes||1’41.611||1.408|
|14||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1’42.259||2.056|
|16||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1’42.642||2.439|
|20||21||Nyck de Vries||AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT||1’55.282||15.079|
What happened in Azerbaijan Grand Prix Q1?
Verstappen set the early pace at 1m41.887s, two tenths clear of Leclerc, but was red-flagged with 10 minutes to go in the session when Nyck de Vries crashed his AlphaTauri at Turn 3.
Three minutes after the restart, Pierre Gasly stalled his Alpine at the same corner, knocking him out of the session. Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz spun his Ferrari at Turn 1 and continued.
On the second restart, Perez briefly took the lead with a 1m41.756s before Verstappen took it with a 1m41.398s. At the end of the session, Leclerc took P1 in 1m41.269s, 0.129s faster than Verstappen.
Those who fell at the first barrier were Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo, who suffered an early spin at Turn 1), Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen (who had a problem with his car and was asked to pit) and sprinters Gasley and de Vries.
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Q1 results: Leclerc faster than Verstappen
What happened at Azerbaijan Grand Prix Q2?
Perez set the early pace at 1m41.131s, 0.062s quicker than Verstappen with Leclerc 0.085s adrift in third. Leclerc took the second push lap in 1m41.037s to beat them all by a tenth.
The Red Bulls pitted and ran again: Verstappen reclaimed P1 with 1m40.822s, 0.215s faster than Leclerc.
At this point George Russell (Mercedes), Esteban Ocon (Alpine), Alex Alban (Williams), Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) and Logan Sargent (Williams) dropped out.
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Q2 results: Verstappen faster than Leclerc
What happened at Azerbaijan Grand Prix Q3?
In the first runs, Verstappen set the benchmark at 1m40.445s, which Leclerc matched by one thousandth of a second, but was second as he set the time a few seconds later.
In the final runs, Leclerc took pole with a lap of 1m40.203s, 0.188s ahead of Verstappen, who could only manage 1m40.391s.
Around three-tenths off the pace, Perez would start third, ahead of Sainz, Hamilton, Alonso, Lando Norris (McLaren), Yuki Tsunoda (Alfatori), Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) and Oscar Piastre (McLaren). Same lap time as surfing.
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Q3 results: Leclerc takes pole
What happened at Azerbaijan Grand Prix FP1?
As the new format is being run for the first time, teams want as much running as possible in this one-hour training session.
But Causley’s Alpine caught fire due to a current leak, which caused a red flag. Magnussen spun out at Turn 1 following a loss of fuel pressure.
Verstappen topped Leclerc’s session by 0.037s. Perez was third fastest in tenth ahead of Sainz, Norris and de Vries.
Mercedes had brake problems and was only 11 years oldTh and 17Th with Hamilton and Russell respectively.