Wednesday, June 16

Leclerc repeats pole in Baku


  • Carlos Sainz will start fifth this Sunday, while Fernando Alonso will do it from ninth position after a rough day

Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) will start from the top of the grid this Sunday (2:00 pm) at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The Monegasque has repeated the pole that he achieved two weeks ago in Monaco, although on that occasion a failure of his car in the installation lap left him without running and without being able to enjoy the privilege in his country. This time, Leclerc has made good his fastest lap (1.41.218), while the rest of the favorites have not been able to make the most of their last attempt after the accident suffered by Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri) in the final moments of the session.

Carlos Sainz, who has aborted his attempt by noticing the red flags, has also lost control of his Ferrari and has ended the front spoiler of his smashed SF21. The Madrilenian will start fifth this Sunday, preceded by Leclerc, Hamilton, Verstappen and Gasly, while Fernando Alonso will do it from ninth position.

Verstappen, annoyed

Despite the scare that he has starred this morning in the last free practice, Verstappen He was able to contest qualifying without any further problems after the time trial in the Red Bull pit. But the current leader of the World Cup has ended the day very annoying and between expletives, after seeing how Tsunoda’s accident left him unable to fight for a pole that seemed safe for the Red Bulls, dominators of all free sessions in Baku.

Things have gone worse for his partner Sergio Pérez, which will be relegated to seventh position. Champion Lewis Hamilton has ‘woken up’ at the right moment and has set a great time, which leaves him in a surprising second starting position.

Q1: The ‘damn’ turn 15

The first qualifying session has started with George Russell in Williams’ garage, hoping that his mechanics would have time to change the engine after the power loss problems detected by the Briton during FP3. The red flag for the accident Walk Lance (Aston Martin), which hit the protective barriers in the first minutes, gave Russell’s team extra time, as the session was stopped for ten minutes.

The ‘qualy’ has resumed with a new incident and a red flag after the very strong side impact of Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) against the wall. At this point only ten cars, and among them neither Mercedes, had managed to complete a full lap. The extreme difficulty of the Baku street circuit, especially the braking at Turn 15, was once again evident in a very ‘bumpy’ session, despite the favorable weather conditions.

With the cars of Stroll and Giovinazzi eliminated early, the other three drivers who have fallen in this sieve have been Nicholas latifi (Williams) and Haas’s two men, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin. Lewis hamilton has given a warning and has placed in front of the times table (1’41 “549), ahead of the two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez, two and four tenths, respectively. Race direction has announced what Lando norris he was being investigated for not respecting the red flag procedure.

Q2: Sainz and Alonso, forward

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With Sainz and Alonso in the next round, the Madrilenian started in second place, between Pérez and Verstappen’s Red Bulls, while Fernando set the fourth fastest time to start. All the pilots have taken to the track with the Pirelli soft compound, confirming that the race strategy this Sunday involves starting with the soft and changing to the hard, stopping between laps 11 and 15.

Verstappen improved his time to lead the standings, followed by Pérez and Hamilton in the same tenth. The session also ended abruptly, with 1:29 left, after the Daniel Ricciardo accident at turn 3 in Baku. The Australian McLaren has been out with Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), Esteban Ocon (Alpine), Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) and George Russell (Williams). The two Spanish representatives, Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso have entered the fight for pole in the decisive Q3.


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