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Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc surprised by pole for Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Leclerc surprised by pole for Azerbaijan Grand Prix
© Reuters
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc says that he was surprised to claim pole position for Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has insisted that his pole position ahead of Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix came as a surprise.

Leclerc finished almost three tenths of a second ahead of Red Bull's Sergio Perez to head the grid for the sixth time in eight attempts.

However, Leclerc claims that he was surprised to finish in front of the team's main rivals in what represents a much-needed boost after his issues in Monaco.

As quoted by BBC Sport, Leclerc said: "All pole positions feel good but this one I did not expect it because I thought Red Bull were stronger.

"Especially Q1 and Q2 I struggled to see we were faster but then in Q3 I managed to do a good lap."

He added: "I am really excited for tomorrow. Tyre management is a big thing here. And our race pace has done a step up since we brought the upgrades."

Championship leader Max Verstappen had to make do with third position, the Dutchman missing out on the front row by just 65 thousandths of a second.

Leclerc's teammate Carlos Sainz Jnr qualified in fourth, with the consistent George Russell fifth in his Mercedes.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton finished seventh quickest, over a second-and-a-half slower than Leclerc.

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George Russell pictured on June 10, 2022
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