While the world was fixated on a battle between Mercedes and Red Bull it was Ferrari and Charles Leclerc who ended up topping the qualifying session for the 2021 F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, a fact that impressed the Italian media.
With several in the paddock expecting Max Verstappen and Red Bull to claim pole for this afternoon's Azerbaijan Grand Prix, it was ultimately Leclerc and Ferrari who after a shortened qualifying session stood atop of the timing sheets.
"Leclerc does it again, a cunning pole position," Corriere dello Sport exclaimed.
"Charles is as good as in 2019, when he always competed for pole position with his Ferrari. The Scuderia did not expect to compete in Baku at all, but Leclerc still managed to put his car on pole.
"Where Red Bull and Mercedes were concerned with the flexwings, it was the Scuderia that kept the focus on racing and that gave Ferrari pole.
"The rear of the car, in particular, seems to give the Ferrari drivers a lot of confidence and Leclerc's cunning ensured that he was also able to take advantage of the slipstream that Hamilton gave him at the right time.
"Ferrari can therefore look back with pride on the spectacular qualifying in Azerbaijan. The differences between the teams are small, but it is Ferrari that can start first on Sunday."
Meanwhile, Gazzetta dello Sport, the country's biggest publication offered similar praise.
"Ferrari and Leclerc were astonishingly good on Saturday in Baku, with the pole position, Leclerc is forgiven for his mistake in Monaco," Gazzetta dello Sport said.
"Leclerc's crash on Friday in Baku provided another déjà vu moment from two years ago. Then it happened in qualifying, which left him barely able to save his weekend. This time, however, Leclerc struck in qualifying by taking pole position very surprisingly.
"The Monegasque was a bit lucky with Yuki Tsunoda's crash, but that doesn't change the fact that biggest competitor Max Verstappen drove too slow on the first lap.
"The Dutchman always seems to need a second run in Q3 to be fast and that cost him dearly in both Baku and Monaco. Logically, this caused frustration for the Dutchman, who, however, seems to have a slight advantage on Sunday in the battle with Lewis Hamilton."