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Bottas wins pole as Leclerc crashes in Azerbaijan GP qualifying

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Valtteri Bottas will start on the pole position for Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix after posting the fastest lap in a wild qualifying session that saw Charles Leclerc fail to advance to Q3 after hitting the outside wall in turn 8.

The Ferrari rookie was a favorite for the pole, having set the fastest time in all three of the weekend’s practice sessions. Leclerc’s luck quickly disappeared when he brought out a red flag by hitting the same wall that Robert Kubica hit in Q1. Both drivers walked away from their accidents.

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“No excuses. I’ve been useless. I will push to have a better tomorrow,” Leclerc tweeted following his accident in Q2

“Sorry to all the people supporting us and even more to the whole team that deserved so much better.”

Leclerc’s misfortune was all that Mercedes duo of Bottas and Lewis Hamilton needed to sweep the front row once again.

Bottas took the pole with an elapsed time of 1:40.495, with Hamilton (1:40:554) starting second in Sunday’s Grand Prix.

“It’s a nice feeling to get [pole] on the last lap,” Bottas told reporters following qualifying.

“Ferrari have been really quick. It’s all about the small margins. I managed to hit the sweet spot.”

Sebastian Vettel (1:40.797) will start Sunday’s Grand Prix from the third position, with Max Verstappen (1:41:069), Sergio Perez (1:41:593) and Daniil Kvyatt (1:41:681) starting fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Leclerc will start Sunday’s race from the 10th position.

Full qualifying results and times are below:


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IMSA race at Daytona: How to watch, start times, schedule, TV info, more

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IMSA start times: For the first time in more than five months, Daytona International Speedway will have a sports car race as the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series returns to the same place it left off today (6 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

After being sidelined by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic since the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, the premier sports car circuit will wave the green again on its 2020 season today. But instead of the annual 24-hour endurance classic, Saturday’s WeatherTech 240 will be a “sprint race” around the 3.56-mile road course.

Here are the details for IMSA’s second race of the season at Daytona (all times are ET):

IMSA WeatherTech 240 at Daytona race information

TV: 6 p.m. NBCSN, NBC Sports App and TrackPass

RADIO: IMSA Radio will have live radio coverage throughout the weekend on, as well as Sirius Channel 216, XM 210, Internet 970

RACE DISTANCE: Two hours, 40 minutes around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway

FORECAST: According to, it’s expected to be 88 degrees with a 51% chance of rain at the green flag.

ENTRY LIST: Click here to see the 26 cars entered in Saturday’s race.

IMSA weekend schedule: Friday, July 3

11 a.m. — WeatherTech Championship Transporter Load-In

1 p.m. — Garages open; pit lane equipment setup

6:15-7:15 p.m. — First practice WeatherTech Championship (all classes)

9:30 p.m. — Garages close

IMSA weekend schedule: Saturday, July 4

8 a.m. — Garages open

8:45 a.m. — Fuel rig inspection

10:15 a,m — 11:30 am — Practice (restricted by classes: 10:15-10:45 a.m., GTD Silver/Bronze; 10:30-11:30 a.m., DPi/GTLM; 10:45-11:15, GTD all drivers)

1:55 p.m. — GTD qualifying

2:20 p.m. — GTLM qualifying

2:45 p.m. — DPi qualifying

6 p.m. — Formation laps

6:10 p.m. — IMSA WeatherTech 240 at Daytona (2 hours, 40 minutes)

11:30 p.m. — Garages close