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Leclerc shocked by Azerbaijan GP pole having focused Aston Martin, Mercedes

Leclerc had previously set an identical Q3 time with rival Max Verstappen as both drivers notched a 1m40.445s, but it was the Red Bull racer who lapped first to provisionally hold the top spot. But Leclerc fought back in the dying moments with a personal best first and final sector in addition to running faster

Leclerc shocked by Azerbaijan GP pole having focused Aston Martin, Mercedes

Leclerc had beforehand set an an identical Q3 time with rival Max Verstappen as each drivers notched a 1m40.445s, but it surely was the Crimson Bull racer who lapped first to provisionally maintain the highest spot.

However Leclerc fought again within the dying moments with a private finest first and closing sector along with working sooner than anybody by means of the center a part of the lap to financial institution a 1m40.203s to pip Verstappen by 0.188s.

This was helped by each Verstappen and his team-mate Sergio Perez dropping time within the second sector to fall wanting their private finest time.

Leclerc stated the pre-weekend group goal had been to beat Aston Martin and Mercedes, leaving him shocked to have scored his first pole since Singapore in 2022 and to have ended the Crimson Bull qualifying streak within the early a part of this season.

“I am shocked,” he stated. “We got here into the weekend considering that it is going to be a fantastic weekend if we’re in entrance of Aston and Mercedes in qualifying and, on the finish, we’re on pole, so it is a actually good shock.”

Nevertheless, Leclerc did decrease expectations for the total grand prix on Sunday as he acknowledged that the race tempo of the RB19 was nonetheless prone to trump that of his SF-23 machine.

He continued: “We should not neglect that our race automotive is perhaps nonetheless behind the Crimson Bulls, so it is going to be tough to maintain the lead however that is the goal and actually, actually pleased with the lap.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Photograph by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

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“It is a very difficult weekend total for us drivers as a result of little or no time to apply [with the changes to the sprint race event timetable].

“We solely had one apply after which it’s essential to be straight on it, however the feeling was good because the begin so actually, actually joyful.”

With Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz clocking fourth behind Perez, Leclerc added: “It is going be difficult as a result of we’ve not run the medium [tyre compound] but.

“So tomorrow in qualifying [for the sprint race] would be the first time and we have to be on it as a result of we solely have one set. So, no room for mistake.

“However once more, the tempo appears robust. So, hopefully we are able to study in Q1 and Q2 after which push in Q3 and we all know the automotive is nice.”

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