The qualifying session ahead of the 2018 FIA Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix represents an important step forward for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team which finished with the rookie Charles Leclerc in Q2 for the first time this season. Finished 14th in the FP3, the Monegasque driver continued improving as track conditions were evolving during the afternoon session and was able to finish in P14 with a lap time of 1'43.752. Marcus Ericsson embarked on qualifying with a different strategy but, due to a combination of factors, was unable to maximise the fast-lap window he had at disposal. His P18 doesn't reflect his true potential and tomorrow the Swedish driver will take the start confident that he has the pace for a good race. The Baku track layout, which features long straights and slow corners, suits the C37 quite well and both drivers are looking forward to the race. Following Nico Hulkenberg's penalty that cost him five positions on tomorrow's grid, Charles Leclerc will take the start from P13.
Marcus Ericsson: "It was an unlucky qualifying for me, with many factors that influenced the outcome. There was also quite a bit of traffic for me. Then, I missed a good lap in Q1 after locking up. At the end of Q1, I tried my best to put together a good lap but I wasn't able to finish it by a couple of seconds. Quite a disappointing session for me. On the bright side, we can see that we have good potential on the track. We have been quite competitive all weekend, so we are optimistic for tomorrow and will give everything to come back strong."
Charles Leclerc: "I am very happy with my qualifying today. I had a great lap in Q1, which enabled me to advance into Q2. It is the first time I achieved that since the beginning of the season, which is a great step for me to make as a rookie. The whole team has done a great job to make this possible. I have learned a lot over the past three race weekends, and am feeling more comfortable with all of the procedures and the car with each session. We have made some positive steps in terms of tyre management, and the balance of the car feels good. I look forward to the race tomorrow - on this circuit, there are many factors that will influence the outcome. With the expected change in the weather conditions, it will certainly be an interesting one."
Check out our Saturday gallery from Baku, here.