Baku [Azerbaijan], June 5 (ANI): Ferrari's Charles Leclerc delivered impressive pace and benefitted from a tow from Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton to take a sensational pole position for Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix in what was a thrilling qualifying session that saw five crashes and four red flags.
It comes just a couple of weeks after he took pole in his home race in Monaco, only to be forced to retire before the race had even started with a mechanical issue caused by his crash in qualifying - with reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton bouncing back from a poor Friday to join the Ferrari on the front row in Baku.
Hamilton made the decision to switch to a low downforce rear wing ahead of qualifying, having struggled to find any performance on a single lap in the preceding practice sessions, and it paid off as he starts second for the third consecutive race in Baku.
"Max Verstappen was furious with third as the Dutchman was frustrated by the number of stoppages for crashes as it meant he was unable to maximise the pace of his Red Bull, which for much of the weekend has looked like the class of the field," stated the official F1 release.
Pierre Gasly made it four constructors in the top four, the AlphaTauri driver choosing to do just one run in the final segment of qualifying and utilising a largely clear track - and a small tow from teammate Yuki Tsunoda to equal his best-ever grid position.
Carlos Sainz was following Tsunoda on the road and locked up heavily, losing the car and sliding down the escape road, damaging his front wing as well as the right rear of his Ferrari, which could mean there's a chance his gearbox is damaged.
McLaren's Lando Norris went sixth, having seen his teammate Daniel Ricciardo crash out in Q2, with Sergio Perez - who had points during qualifying looked like he had the pace to take pole - a disappointing seventh. (ANI)