BAKU, Azerbaijan — Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc crashed out of qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after hitting the barriers at the tightest section of the circuit.

Leclerc looked like the favourite for pole position after topping all three practice sessions earlier in the weekend, but a mistake in the second part of qualifying brought an end to his afternoon. All he needed to do was set a time in the top ten to progress to the final part of qualifying, but instead he will start down the order on Sunday’s grid.

“I am stupid. I am stupid,” Leclerc said on team radio as the session was suspended to allow track marshals to remove his car and repair the barriers.

No excuses. I’ve been useless. I will push to have a better tomorrow.
Sorry to all the people supporting us and even more to the whole team that deserved so much better.
📸: @motorsportpics1

— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) April 27, 2019

The accident came at Turn 8 as Leclerc locked up under braking and ran wide into the barriers. The section of track is the tightest on the F1 calendar and rounds Baku’s UNESCO-protected old city walls. Had he released the brakes and continued into the run off, as Lewis Hamilton did at the same corner on Friday, he would have lost his lap but saved his session.

Williams driver Robert Kubica had a similar accident at the same point of the circuit earlier in qualifying, bringing the first part of session to an early end.

Motor Sports News

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