Azerbaijan GP 2023
APRIL 28, 2023
Friday Qualifying - Lerclerc on pole
By Mark Karp
Charles Leclerc in his Ferrari claimed pole position for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, outpacing Red Bull-Honda drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. This marks Leclerc's first pole of the year, with a time of 1m40.203s in his final lap of the session. Verstappen and Leclerc posted identical times on their first Q3 flying runs, at 1m40.445s, but Leclerc's final lap was untouchable.
Verstappen secured a front row spot with a time of 1m40.391s, while Perez will start next to Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari in Sunday's race. Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes GP had a close call in Q2, will start in fifth place alongside Fernando Alonso in his Aston Martin-Mercedes. Lando Norris, Yuki Tsunoda, Lance Stroll, and Oscar Piastri round out the top 10 on the grid.
George Russell, Esteban Ocon, Alex Albon, Valtteri Bottas, and Logan Sargeant were eliminated in Q2, while Nyck de Vries and Pierre Gasly faced setbacks in Q1, which led to a red flag, and both Haas cars were eliminated in the first part of qualifying.