BAKU: Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc grabbed a surprise pole position for the Azerbaijan Formula One Grand Prix on Saturday in a qualifying session littered with crashes and four red flag stoppages. Mercedes’ seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton qualified alongside on the front row, with Red Bull’s championship leader Max Verstappen frustrated to be starting third. The pole was Leclerc’s second in a row and once again came as a result of the final session being stopped early by a red car banging into the barriers. At home in Monaco two weeks ago it was Leclerc who set the fastest lap and then crashed, and in Baku it was a smash involving team mate Carlos Sainz that brought an end to the track action. Leclerc owed some of his time of one minute 41.218 seconds to Hamilton, whose car provided a hefty aerodynamic ‘tow’ down the long straight. Hamilton has a record 100 pole positions but his placing still came as a surprise, with Mercedes struggling for pace through practice and Red Bull on top.