F1 Azerbaijan GP Live Commentary and Updates - FP3 & Qualifying

Live updates for Formula 1's Azerbaijan Grand Prix final practice and qualifying.

F1 Azerbaijan GP Live Commentary and Updates - FP3 & Qualifying

By: Jake Boxall-Legge, James Newbold

Summary

  • Charles Leclerc takes pole after final runs red-flagged for Tsunoda and Sainz crashes
  • Lance Stroll crashes at Turn 15 to bring out red flag early on in Q1
  • Giovinazzi brings out a second red flag, again at Turn 15
  • Eliminated in Q1: Latifi, Schumacher, Mazepin, Giovinazzi, Stroll
  • Ricciardo adds third red flag in Q2, crashing into the wall at Turn 3
  • Eliminated in Q2: Vettel, Ocon, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Russell
Leaderboard
  1. Leclerc, Ferrari
  2. Hamilton, Mercedes
  3. Verstappen, Red Bull
  4. Gasly, AlphaTauri
  5. Sainz, Ferrari
  6. Norris, McLaren
  7. Perez, Red Bull
  8. Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
  9. Alonso, Alpine
  10. Bottas, Mercedes
Status: Stopped
Here's the report from a wild qualifying - we'll see you tomorrow for, hopefully, an enthralling race in Baku: https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/azerbaijan-gp-qualifying-report/6537250/
 
 
 
Must say, it certainly was refreshing to not have to type track limits once. Walls meant there was never any debate to be had...
Anybody else feel like they need a lie down after that session?
 
Norris, pending investigation for not coming into the pits when Stroll's Q1 crash brought out the first of four red flags in the session, will be sixth on the grid ahead of Perez, Tsunoda, Alonso and Bottas - for whom this is another weekend that appears to be slipping away from him.
Gasly equals his and AlphaTauri's best-ever qualifying position in fourth after a mega effort on his one timed lap in Q3, with Sainz set to start fifth once the damage is repaired.
With just seconds left on the clock, the session will not be restarted, and Leclerc is his second pole in a week. Hamilton starts second, a remarkable salvage job from Mercedes, while Verstappen will have work to do from third on the grid. Who saw this coming?
Tsunoda makes a carbon-copy mistake of the one that took Ricciardo out in Q2, and behind him Sainz is distracted, locks the rears and spins into the escape road where he clouts the wall with front and rear, plucking off his front wing in the process.
Tsunoda is in the wall at Turn 3, and Sainz has lost his front nose too. That gives pole to Leclerc for the second race in a row!
Red flag!
Bottas was sent out first again, but without a tow slows down and waits for Leclerc to overtake him.
As the top runners emerge for their second efforts, it's Leclerc on provisional pole from Hamilton, Verstappen, Gasly and Sainz. Norris is P6, then Perez, Tsunoda, Alonso and an unhappy Bottas in P10.
Gasly's time is good enough for fourth, it's a 1m41.565s from the Frenchman.
Now here come the AlphaTauri twins, who have the track to themselves. Tsunoda is towing Gasly around.
The lap from Bottas is disappointing and leaves him only P8, but with the benefit of the tow Hamilton is up to second on a 1m41.450s.
So the first representative times on the board come from Ferrari, and it's Leclerc on top after the first runs with a 1m41.218s. That's over three tenths quicker than his nearest challenger, Verstappen, with Sainz currently third.
Bottas and Hamilton take it fairly steadily on their first laps, that'll go down as a warmup lap to get their tyres in the right window for a push lap.
Tsunoda and Gasly are the only two yet to emerge from the garage as the remaining eight drivers all hit the track (on soft tyres, obviously).
Bottas is the first man out of the pits, followed by Sainz - who is immediately passed exiting Turn 2 by Hamilton, who will look to get a tow from his team-mate before service is likely swapped later on.
Here we go, for the final time today. Q3 is underway!

Confirmation that 0.034s covered the top five in that session. It's anybody's guess who will be on pole - but it won't be Vettel, who missed out on Q3 by just 0.029s to Alonso.

Following the retrieval of Ricciardo's car, Q3 will begin at 17:09 local time.
 
 
That means he'll start 13th tomorrow, barring any penalty for component changes, with Vettel, Ocon, Raikkonen and Russell also missing out on Q3.
The McLaren driver carried too much speed into Turn 3, locked up and went straight into the wall on the outside, breaking the right-front suspension. Baku today has been a car-wrecker.
Daniel Ricciardo has crashed. The session will not be restarted.
And we have a red flag again.
Tsunoda's effort bumps Vettel out of the top 10 and now leaves Alonso on the bubble.
Hello Tsunoda! The rookie blasts up to fourth with a 1m41.654s. Super-impressive job there from the AlphaTauri man.
And if you thought that was close, there's just 0.034s between Verstappen in first and Leclerc in fourth...
There is just 0.049s between Vettel in tenth and Ocon in 11th. Or about as long as it takes you to get service when you walk into a branch of DFS.
Vettel in tenth is currently the man on the bubble - behind him are Ocon, Tsunoda, Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Russell, all of whom will fancy their chances of getting into the top 10.
Now Verstappen improves and goes fastest with a 1m41.625s. It's tight at the top!
And there's the answer. Hamilton goes second quickest on a 1m41.634s, just 0.004s slower than Perez. Bottas though is only eighth on a 1m42.106s, his time immediately beaten by Gasly's first effort.
The Mercedes drivers opt to go for another warmup lap with a 1m53s for Hamilton and a 2m04s lap for Bottas - what have they got up their respective sleeves?
Perez puts it to the back of his mind quickly though and is the fastest man of anybody on the first runs, with a 1m41.630s. Leclerc goes second ahead of team-mate Sainz, with Verstappen fourth and Norris fifth.