Charles Leclerc reveals he came close to spoiling the lap which put him on pole position at the first corner.Max Verstappen. The pair produced an identical lap time with their first runs in Q3 before Leclerc eased ahead of his rival with his final effort.
However Leclerc admitted he nearly made a costly error at the first corner, where his team mate spun earlier in the session.
“I think in street circuits you always try and do one lap in Q3 pushing obviously more than any other laps before,” he explained. “But then for the last attempt, you just put everything in and see how it goes.
“So it was a close call in turn one, but overall it was quite a clean lap and again really happy with the lap.”
The Ferrari driver admitted he was “surprised” to take pole position following his tough start to the season. He arrived in Azerbaijan 10th in the championship having only taken points in one of the first three races.
“It’s really good, especially considering the beginning of the season I’ve had,” he said. “Obviously we haven’t had the greatest of beginnings, but it’s great to be back on pole.
“Honestly, I did not expect it. I think we came into the weekend thinking that it will already be a great result if we were in front of the Astons and Mercedes and we find ourselves in pole. So I’m really, really happy with that.”
However he admitted he doubts the Ferrari is likely to be competitive enough to challenge the Red Bulls in Sunday’s race.
“We need to see obviously tomorrow for the sprint race and for the race on Sunday as I think we are a little bit more on the back foot there. But anyway, a really good surprise and extremely happy with my lap.”
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