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2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Qualifying: Leclerc beats Verstappen on pole

The King of Baku Qualifying struck back to take the pole position in Azerbaijan, for the third season in a row. Charles Leclerc will start the Azerbaijan GP from P1, followed by Max Verstappen in P2 and Sergio Perez in P3.

The first of the two qualifying sessions of his Azerbaijan Grand Prix is in the books. This is the first time we get to see the new Sprint weekend format in place, and it has definitely led to some really interesting outcomes. Reminder, this is the session that sets the grid order for Sunday's race, with drivers and teams only having 60 minutes of experience in the streets of Baku.

Q1: The first leg of the session was full of interruptions. Two red flags came to halt all in-track action, as Nyck de Vries found the barriers of T3 after a lockup, with 10 minutes left on the clock. The session resumed shortly after, only to be stopped again as Pierre Gasly clipped the wall at the exact same corner. Eliminated in Q1: Zhou Guanyu (P16), Nico Hulkenberg (P17), Kevin Magnussen (P18), Pierre Gasly (P19) and Nyck de Vries (P20).

Q2: A very difficult day for Mercedes' young(er) Brit. George Russell couldn't find that afternoon pace in his W14, while Logan Sargeant marked his first appearance in the second leg of Qualifying. Eliminated in Q2: George Russell (P11), Esteban Ocon (P12), Alex Albon (P13), Valtteri Bottas (P14) and Logan Sargeant (P15).

Q3: An amazing battle for the top saw Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc quarrel for pole position, marking the same lap time before their final efforts.

Charles Leclerc managed to secure the 19th pole position of his career, and will start the Sunday's race from the front row of the grid. Alongside him, Max Verstappen will start from P2, followed by his teammate, Sergio Perez, in P3.

Carlos Sainz found himself up to P4, while Lewis Hamilton placed his struggling W14 in P5, followed by Fernando Alonso in P6. Lando Norris entered Q3 for the first time in 2023, ending up in P7, with Yuki Tsunoda in P8. Completing the top 10, Lance Stroll in P9 and Oscar Piastri in P10.

Full Qualifying Classification:

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