Charles Leclerc lived up to his position as master of poles this season, pulling a flying lap out of the bag in qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Saturday.
The Ferrari driver, recording his fourth consecutive pole and sixth of the season, was joined by Sergio Pérez’s Red Bull on the front lines for Sunday’s race.
Perez, who won 12 months ago on the streets of Azerbaijan’s capital and last time in Monaco, once again outclassed his world champion teammate Max Verstappen.
Verstappen starts in the second Ferrari with Carlos Sainz in the second row.
“It feels good,” said an apparently thrilled Leclerc.
“All the poles look good, but it was not what I expected. I thought Red Bull were strong in the first and second qualifying sessions but on the last lap everything came together.
Leclerc had a healthy championship lead after the fifth race in Australia, but went nine points behind Verstappen in the eighth round of the season, with Perez only six points behind in the third.
He is desperate to regain title momentum on Sunday, saying: “I’m really excited for tomorrow.”