Event: Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix
Track: Baku street circuit

Weather: dry  25°C
Tarmac: dry  48°C
Humidity: 66%
Wind: 1 km/h N
Pressure: 1011 bar

Charles Leclerc qualified as quickest for the Sprint race later today. The Ferrari driver scored the very first Sprint race pole position and the first Sprint pole for the Ferrari team.

SQ1 session

The start of the qualifying session was not without drama as McLaren driver Oscar Piastri caused a yellow flag, affecting the quick laps of several drivers. With just 11 minutes to make their mark, every second counts in getting the tires in the optimum operating window.

The top speeds today were much higher than yesterday. Logan Sargeant even made it to 346 km/h, which was 6 km/h higher than yesterday.

As the clock ticked down with three minutes remaining, Pierre Gasly (Alpine), Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Nyck de Vries (AlphaTauri), and Zhou Guangyu (Alfa Romeo) were on the brink of being knocked out of Q1. Unfortunately, Gasly had to return to the garage with a technical problem, effectively ending his chances of making it into Q2.

With just 25 seconds left, the session was red-flagged as Logan Sargeant crashed into the wall at turn 15, having been distracted by the slow-moving Ferraris.

In the end, Charles Leclerc secured pole position for the race, clocking in almost half a second faster than Max Verstappen in the Red Bull.

SQ2 session

In the second session of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix Sprint qualifying, the drivers had just 10 minutes to set their fastest times. Unfortunately, Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg caused a yellow flag, which disrupted the lap times of many drivers. All drivers had to use the Medium compound tyres again.

With only two minutes left in the session, the drivers in the drop zone were Piastri, Magnussen, Ocon, Hulkenberg, and Sargeant. At this point, Verstappen was in P1, with Leclerc in P2 and Pérez in P3.

Carlos Sainz caused a second yellow flag at the notorious turn 15, but fortunately, it didn't affect anyone's lap time. Despite their best efforts, none of the drivers in the drop zone were able to make it into SQ3. However, Lance Stroll was able to make it into the final qualifying session, thanks to a well-timed tow from his Aston Martin teammate Fernando Alonso.

SQ3 session

The final qualifying session for the Sprint race was underway, and it promised to be an intense eight-minute affair, with drivers now allowed to use the red Soft tires. Charles Leclerc set the early pace, with a blistering time of 1:41.697 min, putting him on provisional pole. Sergio Pérez was in second place, +0.411s behind the Ferrari driver, with Max Verstappen hot on his heels in third.

As the clock ticked down, all drivers pushed themselves to the limit to try and beat Leclerc's time and secure pole position for the Sprint race. However, disaster struck for Leclerc as he lost the rear of his Ferrari in turn 5 halfway through the lap, ending up in the barriers and causing a yellow flag. The incident compromised the lap times of the drivers behind him.

Pérez did manage to set a purple second sector time, but it wasn't enough to dethrone Leclerc. In the end, the Ferrari driver held on to his provisional pole, with Pérez finishing just short. It was a dramatic end to the final session of qualifying, setting the stage for an exciting Sprint race later today.

Sprint Quali Times 2023 Azerbaijan GP

Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:42.820 1:42.500 1:41.697 14
2 11 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1:43.858 1:42.925 1:41.844 15
3 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:43.288 1:42.417 1:41.987 13
4 63 George Russell Mercedes 1:43.763 1:43.112 1:42.252 18
5 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:43.622 1:42.909 1:42.287 15
6 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:43.561 1:43.061 1:42.502 17
7 23 Alex Albon Williams 1:43.987 1:43.376 1:42.846 17
8 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1:43.789 1:42.976 1:43.010 16
9 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:43.879 1:43.375 1:43.064 17
10 4 Lando Norris McLaren 1:43.938 1:43.395 no time 12
11 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:44.179 1:43.427 12
12 27 Nico Hülkenberg Haas 1:44.843 1:43.806 12
13 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:44.433 1:44.088 11
14 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:44.101 1:44.332 11
15 2 Logan Sargeant Williams 1:44.042 no time 6
16 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 1:45.177 6
17 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1:45.352 6
18 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1:45.436 6
19 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine 1:46.951 3
20 21 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri 1:48.180 6

✅ Check out our 2023 Azerbaijan F1 GP preview

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2 F1 Fan comments on “Sprint Qualifying Results 2023 Azerbaijan F1 GP

  1. Jere Jyrälä

    Another pole for Leclerc, as I expected, but Ferrari’s general race pace disadvantage will probably be against him winning in the sprint too.
    Sargeant had a good pace until his error, partly down to Sainz's presence.
    Tsunoda still had green lights when crossing the timing line, but unlucky red for him & Alfas.
    Astons were disappointing despite the DRS issue not hampering them anymore.

  2. smokey

    We noticed there were very few spectators for the so-called "Sprint Shootout" for sprint race qualifying. Stands were less than half full. Is it an indicator of interest in the sprint race? The GP saw stands full.


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