Formula 1: Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) in pole position ahead of Red Bulls Sergio Pérez and Max Verstappen in Baku

Look no further: the leader of the fast lap is Charles Leclerc (Ferrari). In Baku on Saturday afternoon, the Monegasque signed the fifteenth pole position of his career, the sixth of the season after eight days and the fourth in a row. With a time of 1’41 “359, he relegated Sergio Pérez (Red Bull), his fiercest rival in Azerbaijan, to 0” 282. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) could do nothing but limit the damage by stealing third place. by Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) Good classification by Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), who will start from sixth position on Sunday.

Training had set the trend, it was confirmed in the standings. Charles Leclerc and Sergio Pérez are above the fight in Azerbaijan and only leave their teammates alone. Dominated by the Mexican during training, the Monegasque made one last masterful lap to steal the pole. It is from the leadership position that it will take off on Sunday at 1 p.m. Already the fastest in 2021, he became the first rider to win twice in the classification at the Baku circuit. Pérez lost more than two tenths of a second in the last days of the session, despite an aggression that made him kiss the wall, and he will share the front row with Leclerc.

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However, Ferrari is overconfident. Because the Monegasque, equipped with a new rear wing, is struggling to turn his leadership positions into victory and does not win from Melbourne on 10 April. In addition, the Red Bulls have intervened between the two drivers of the Italian team, Carlos Sainz lost his last race and fell to fourth place, behind Max Verstappen (Red Bull). The Dutchman had raised this scenario in front of the press on Friday and admitted that the Milton Keynes team feared Ferrari more in the classification than in the race, where the long stays would be. “more balanced”.

Weakened by the relentless bounces of their Mercedes, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were ranked fifth and seventh respectively. The seven-time world champion is, however, under investigation for driving too slowly at the end of Q2 and his position remains, for the time being, provisional. It was Pierre Gasly who achieved the feat of slipping between the German cars. The AlphaTauri are doing well in Azerbaijan, although the Frenchman, disappointed in Monaco despite the remarkable performances, has preferred not to fall into euphoria after conclusive tests.

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His compatriot Esteban Ocon did not pass the cut of Q2, failing in 13th position, behind McLaren, although he rushed during the last Free. We were waiting for Alpine, whose top speed has impressed Baku observers since the start of the weekend. But Fernando Alonso, accused by Alex Albon of having voluntarily fired straight at the end of Q2 to secure his passage, has been unable to do better than P10.

Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) and Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) complete the first part of the grid. In this session marked by the accident of Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) -in good memory of 2021-, we must highlight the failure of Alfa Romeo, Guanyu Zhou and Valtteri Bottas confined to rows 14 and 15.

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