Charles Leclerc Secures Pole Position at Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Ends Red Bull’s Dominance
Charles Leclerc has yet again demonstrated his sheer class by staking his claim to being the number one qualifier of the current F1 era. He took pole position for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in a breathtaking lap that left everyone in awe. It was Scuderia’s 243rd pole position, and their fourth in Azerbaijan, the first one being taken by Sebastian Vettel in 2018.
Carlos Sainz, the sister Ferrari driver, qualified in fourth and will start on the second row, but was nearly a second down on Leclerc’s lap. Leclerc’s lap was pure mastery in action, threading his way through the unforgiving street circuit, lightly scraping walls with jaw-dropping accuracy and precision, sliding his way to the fastest time, by a couple of tenths over Max Verstappen. Verstappen is perhaps the Ferrari driver’s only rival for the title of qualy master of their generation. Thus, Leclerc ended Red Bull’s run of three out of three top-spot starts this season.
This pole position is just what Ferrari needed, with all the changes happening at Maranello under the new watch of Fred Vasseur. Leclerc provided the Frenchman with his first pole as F1 boss of the sport’s greatest team.
Leclerc said, “It feels really good to be back on pole, and it’s something we didn’t take for granted coming here. The team did a perfect job in managing the session, and I’m very happy with my lap. We have to see where we stand in the Sprint and the race, where we expect to be a bit more on the back foot compared to our competitors, but we will give it our all, and I look forward to being back in the car for the Shootout.”
Sainz, on the other hand, was never comfortable around the twisty confines of the city circuit. In Q1, he was nine-tenths shy of his teammate, then in Q2, he managed to claw back the deficit, narrowing it to three-tenths. But when it really mattered, his best effort of 1:41.016s was 0.813s down on Leclerc’s mega pole-winning effort.
Laurent Mekies, still the Ferrari sporting boss, said, “We are very pleased with how qualifying went because both our cars were able to fight with the Red Bulls, which had always taken pole so far this season. Congratulations to Charles, who was quickest of all here in Baku for the third time in a row, proving that he’s a real qualifying specialist. Carlos had a tougher time of it today, as he struggled to feel confident in the car, and he also had to use an extra set of Softs in Q1. However, in the end, this pole position and Carlos’ fourth place confirm that we have done a good job in Maranello over the past month.”
In conclusion, Charles Leclerc’s stunning lap has put him in pole position for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. It was a truly remarkable performance, showcasing his exceptional driving skills and proving that he is one of the greatest qualifiers in Formula 1. It remains to be seen how he will fare in the Sprint and the race, but one thing is for sure: all eyes will be on him as he continues to cement his status as a legend of the sport.
By: Mr. WWK