Starting grid GP Azerbaijan: Surprising pole for Leclerc, Red Bulls in pursuit

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Against expectations, it was Charles Leclerc who took pole position. The Monegask managed to squeeze out an almost perfect lap, pushing the limits, and saw this rewarded with the fastest time in qualifying. Red Bull Racing therefore had to settle for one less spot, because with Max Verstappen on P2 and Sergio PĂ©rez on P3, they are the closest pursuers of the Ferrari driver.

It is the other Ferrari driver, Carlos Sainz, who completes the top four. Behind that it is a mix of different teams, because with Mercedes, McLaren, Aston Martin and AlphaTauri there are six different teams in the top ten. Lewis Hamilton is the only representative on behalf of Mercedes, as he pushed teammate George Russell out in Q2 by a difference of four thousandths. As a result, Hamilton was allowed to try again in Q3, resulting in a fifth place. Russell had to make do with eleventh place.

In addition to Hamilton, Fernando Alonso will start the race from P6. The Spaniard has consistently achieved good results so far this season, and will hope to find his way to the podium in Azerbaijan as well. Behind them are Lando Norris and Yuki Tsunoda on the fourth row, with Lance Stroll and Oscar Piastri rounding out the top ten. This means that for the first time this season there are two McLarens in the top ten after qualifying.

Dropouts De Vries, Gasly and Magnussen

At the back of the field there are a number of unhappy drivers. Two by his own doing, one by a failing car. It was Nyck de Vries who first parked his car in the wall in turn three. With that he was the first to drop out and so P20 is for him. Pierre Gasly was not unlucky in that same corner either, as he hit the wall there with the side of his car, breaking his rear suspension, resulting in P19. Kevin Magnussen was the most unlucky as he dropped out with nothing he could do about it. A problem with the car made him retire and so he starts from P18.

Starting grid 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

1.Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing)
3. Sergio Perez (Red Bull Racing)
4.Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
5.Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
6.Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)
7. Lando Norris (McLaren)
8. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
9.Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
10. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)
11.George Russell (Mercedes)
12. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
13. Alexander Albon (Williams)
14.Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
15. Logan Sargeant (Williams)
16. Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo)
17. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)
18. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
19. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)
20. Nyck de Vries (AlphaTauri)

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