Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc (EVS Australian GP Outright) put in another impressive display during qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix to claim his second pole of the campaign.
Leclerc sealed pole and went on to win the Bahrain Grand Prix in the season opener and Ferrari will be hoping the Monegasque can repeat that feat in Melbourne.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen (6/4 Australian GP Outright) did appear to be on course to take pole, setting the fastest time after the session resumed following a red flag when Fernando Alonso crashed.
However, Leclerc pulled out a strong final lap, 0.286 seconds quicker than Verstappen, to ensure he will begin Sunday’s race at the front of the grid.
Leclerc said: “It felt good, even more because it is a track I have always struggled at in the past. It was a bit of a messy free practice for me, not everything together. But in Q3 I managed to put everything together and very happy to be starting on pole.”
Sergio Perez (8/1 Australian GP Outright) will start behind Red Bull teammate Verstappen in third with McLaren’s Lando Norris (33/1) in fourth, while Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton (25/1) and George Russell (50/1) are fifth and sixth respectively.
Verstappen, who has never finished any better than third at the Australian Grand Prix, feels there is plenty of room for improvement on Sunday.
“I didn’t feel good in the car the whole weekend so far. There wasn’t one lap where I felt confident. Second is good but it’s not great when you can’t go to the limit,” Verstappen said.