PREMA Racing’s Chalres Leclerc kept up his perfect qualifying score as he dominated proceedings in Qualifying to take pole for the European GP feature race in Baku, Azerbaijan, his fourth in four races. The Monegasque overcame a terrible home weekend in Monaco followed by the passing of his father three days before, who he commemorated with “Je t’aime, papa” on his rear wing endplate, to add four points to his championship lead.
In a session that saw 3 red flags, Leclerc’s pace meant he set two laps quick enough for pole, the quickest of which was a 1:52.129, 0.568s ahead of ART’s Nobuharu Matsushita who comes determined to atone for a torrid weekend here last year which resulted in a race ban from Austria.
Nicholas Latifi who caused the first stoppage recovered well to take third on the grid ahead of practice pace-setter Nyck de Vries and Artem Markelov in fourth and fifth respectively.
Leclerc’s team mate Antonio Fuoco could only manage sixth but behind him, Johnny Cecotto Jr. and Sergio Canamasas qualified 7th and 8th and kept Leclerc’s main title rival Oliver Rowland in a lowly 9th while Robert Visoiu rounded up the top ten.
Series returnee Sergey Sirotkin could only manage 17th on the grid having missed most of practice. Sirotkin returns with his former ART team deputizing for the injured Alexander Albon, who broke his collar bone ahead of the Baku event.
The feature race will start on Saturday at 12:00 local time (GMT +4)
Image via FIA Formula 2 Media