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Ferrari's surprise Baku pole undermined by Sainz crash - Binotto

Ferrari's surprise Baku pole undermined by Sainz crash - Binotto

F1 News

Ferrari's surprise Baku pole undermined by Sainz crash - Binotto

Ferrari's surprise Baku pole undermined by Sainz crash - Binotto

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto believes the surprise pole position for Charles Leclerc could have been even better for the team had Carlos Sainz not been caught up in the session-ending red flags in Baku.

Leclerc will start the Azerbaijan Grand Prix from the front after being shielded by a session stoppage caused by Yuki Tsunoda's crash at turn four, an incident that also accounted for Sainz.

Binotto highlighted the importance of confirming the team's form shown in Monaco last time out but hinted at Sainz improving upon his fifth position had the session been completed.

"It’s great to be here in Baku and confirm the performance of Monaco," said Binotto.

"Still a street circuit but a lot different to Monaco, with different conditions, a bit windy today and a very long straight.

"To be here and to be fast was important for is. The team is showing it is in good shape, the drivers as well, step by step, it's great for us and certainly, it’s a great result. 

"The two drivers are doing well, Carlos was improving his lap when he crashed, so it’s a shame because I think he could have done even better today. 

"We were not expecting to be the fastest, coming into Baku, but yesterday we saw our car was behaving well. So again, we are very happy, I think the team is a great team and showing we can do well in the future."

Ferrari in race battle with Mercedes and Red Bull

Ferrari was cautious of its pace after performing well in Monaco but has so far backed up its form across the weekend in Baku.

Binotto, however, has played down the importance of remaining ahead of Mercedes and Red Bull through the race and instead is hoping for further signs of race-on-race progression from the Scuderia.

"We can have a strong day tomorrow," added Binotto. "The race is the race and we know that Baku, when you look at the final results, is normally a shuffle.

"We have a car that is performing well both in quali and in the race conditions.

"It will be a very long race. The first lap will not dictate the results. You may have red flags, you may have safety cars.

"Let's just stay focused and whatever happens, it is important for us to again show performance and progress."

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