Charles Leclerc leads Lewis Hamilton in Azerbaijan Formula 1 qualifying

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Charles Leclerc leads Lewis Hamilton in Azerbaijan Formula 1 qualifying

Charles Leclerc secured back-to-back pole positions for Ferrari at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton joined the Monegasque on the front row for Sunday’s GP.

In a qualifying session punctuated by four red flags after a spree of crashes, Leclerc was gifted top spot after the session was halted in the closing moments with a number of rivals on flying laps.

Red Bull were expected to lock down the top two spots after dominating free practice across Friday and Saturday, but Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez could only finish third and seventh respectively.

Leclerc’s lap of 1:41.218 was +0.232s clear of Hamilton and +0.345s ahead of Verstappen.

Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly ensured that four different manufactures were represented in the top four, with Carlos Sainz taking fifth for Ferrari.

Lando Norris posted the sixth fastest time, but was subsequently handed a three-place penalty for not following red flag procedure, with Perez, Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri), Fernando Alonso (Alpine) and Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) rounding out the top 10.

The late red flag was issued after Tsunoda and Sainz crashed in separate incidents at Turn 3.