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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc 'didn't expect' Baku pole after Red Bull battle

Following a close fight between Ferrari and Red Bull in qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was surprised to come out on top.

Leclerc pole Baku
Article
To news overview © XPB

Charles Leclerc admits he was particularly pleased – and surprised – with pole position for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix following a close battle with Red Bull.

The Monegasque will start Sunday's race from P1 after setting the quickest time ahead of Sergio Perez, with Max Verstappen lining up in third ahead of Leclerc's Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz.

Despite his pace in the session, Leclerc was still shocked to beat Red Bull at the end of the hour.

"It feels good," Leclerc told Sky Sports F1 after qualifying.

"Obviously all pole positions feel good, but this one I probably did not expect, because I thought Red Bull were stronger, especially in Q1 and Q2.

"I really struggled to see that we we were faster, but then in the last lap, everything came together, and again, I managed to do a good lap, so [I'm] extremely happy."

Leclerc excited for race prospects

Looking ahead to Sunday's race, Leclerc is feeling positive.

"I'm really excited for tomorrow," the Ferrari driver said.

"I think we'll have quite a bit [ahead of us] tomorrow, because tyre management is a big thing here. In Barcelona and Monaco, I think we were managing it well, even though [in] Monaco it was difficult to see anything.

"But overall our race pace has [made] a step up since we brought the upgrade, so tomorrow will be very interesting, whether it will be the case here too."

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F1 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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