Charles Leclerc was positive after scoring a pole at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku that he ‘did not expect.’
A win for the Ferrari man could take him back to the top of the drivers’ championship after he lost top spot to last year’s champion, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.
Verstappen could only manage third after a late effort from his teammate, Sergio Perez, stole in with the Mexican claiming second.
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While Leclerc would have doubtless preferred to have Carlos Sainz alongside him on the front row instead of fourth, the opportunity is there to lead from the front.
Speaking to Sky Sports after qualifying, the Monegasque admitted he was caught by surprise by his success.
“It feels good,” he began. “This one I probably did not expect it, because I thought Red Bull were stronger, especially in Q1.
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“And in Q2 I really struggled to see that we were faster, and then in the last lap everything came together and I managed to do a good lap, so I’m extremely happy.”
With a full race to come and with several disappointments already this season, Leclerc was hopeful but did not predict any success.
He said: “I’m really excited for tomorrow, I think tyre management is a big thing here. In Barcelona and Monaco I think we were managing it well even though in Monaco it was difficult to see anything.
“But overall our race pace was a step up since we brought our upgrades. So tomorrow will be interesting whether it will be the case there too.”
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