The Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend structure is different, but qualifying took place on Friday and the F1 starting grid for Sunday’s race has now been set.
Q1 was halted with a red flag after AlphaTauri driver Nyck de Vries crashed down at Turn 3, who let out a frustrated shout on team radio after he piled into the wall.
Pierre Gasly suffered the same fate minutes later when the session restarted, and Kevin Magnussen was also forced to pull into the pits early with trouble on his Haas in Q1.
George Russell was the big-name casualty from Q2, missing out on a place in the top 10 by just 0.004s behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton, with both McLaren drivers getting themselves into Q3 along with the AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda.
But in the business end of the session in Q3, with the sun going down over the Baku City Circuit, it was an intense battle for pole position – with the Red Bull drivers looking closely matched over one lap, with Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc setting the exact same lap time on their first flying runs, down to the thousandth of a second.
And while Verstappen improved on his final run, Leclerc was able to go even faster still, eventually lapping 0.188s clear of his Red Bull rival and taking his first pole of the season, and his third P1 start in a row around the Baku City Circuit.
Esteban Ocon and Nico Hulkenberg will both start the race from the pit lane after their respective teams made set-up changes.
F1 starting grid: Azerbaijan Grand Prix
1 Charles LECLERC Ferrari 1:40.203
2 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing +0.188
3 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing +0.292
4 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +0.813
5 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.974
6 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +1.050
7 Lando NORRIS McLaren +1.078
8 Yuki TSUNODA AlphaTauri +1.378
9 Lance STROLL Aston Martin +1.408
10 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren +1.408
11 George RUSSELL Mercedes 1:41.654
12 Alexander ALBON Williams +0.164
13 Valtteri BOTTAS Alfa Romeo +0.605
14 Logan SARGEANT Williams +0.741
15 Guanyu ZHOU Alfa Romeo 1:42.642
16 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas F1 Team +0.775
17 Pierre GASLY Alpine +2.211
18 Nyck DE VRIES AlphaTauri +12.640
Pit lane Esteban OCON Alpine
Pit lane Nico HULKENBERG Haas F1 Team
[Grid order correct as of Sunday 8am 30 April]