HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the Shootout action as Leclerc takes pole for the F1 Sprint in Azerbaijan despite crashing
Saturday marked the dawn of a new era for Formula 1 as the first-ever ‘Sprint Shootout’ took place at the Baku City Circuit, setting the grid for the standalone 100-kilometre Sprint later in the afternoon.
At the end of a shorter, three-phase qualifying session, which mandated specific compounds through every stage, it was Leclerc who walked away with pole position for the Sprint, despite losing his front wing in a crash at the end of the seven-minute SQ3 segment.
That meant Red Bull again had to settle for second and third on the grid, with Sergio Perez this time ahead of team mate Max Verstappen, who lamented that he “lost all the rear in the middle sector” on his first attempt.
Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton sandwiched the other Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, who was caught out by Leclerc’s incident at Turn 5, followed by the Williams of Alex Albon, Aston Martin pair Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll and McLaren’s Lando Norris, who did not have enough tyres for a run in the final phase.
There was drama early in the session when F1 rookie Logan Sargeant slammed into the wall at the exit of Turn 15, ripping the right-hand side and rear off his Williams, while bringing out the red flags for the second successive day.
Check out the highlights from the Sprint Shootout in the video player above.