Charles Leclerc delivered some impressive pace and benefitted from a tow from 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. Lewis Hamilton managed to find some pace in his Mercedes to join Charles Leclerc on the front row.
Max Verstappen was furious with third, despite it being his best start in Baku, the Dutchman 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.
Pierre Gasly managed to equal his best grid position of 4th, meaning four different constructors occupied the top for places on the grid.
However, the standout story from the session was the absurd amount of red flags. Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi both found the barriers in Q1, Daniel Ricciardo in Q2, and Yuki Tsunoda and Carlos Sainz in Q3. The four red flags in today’s session equalled the record for the most number of red flags in a single session.