Alexander Albon scored his maiden Formula 2 pole position at Baku in a qualifying session that was interrupted twice by red flags.
At the very beginning of qualifying, the session was halted due to Maximilian Gunther's Arden-run car breaking down after Turn 1 on his first flyer, while Nicholas Latifi spun during the final minute.
When the action resumed after Gunther's incident, Lando Norris took the lead with a time of 1m55.139s, but Albon and then Luca Ghiotto narrowly outpaced him.
The Italian led into the mid-session lull with a 1m54.980s with the top three separated by less than two tenths and next-best George Russell 0.701s adrift.
Norris went three tenths faster on his second run, but Albon also improved soon afterwards and took the lead with a 1m54.480s.
Although there were two minutes left on the clock, a lack of further improvements left Albon on top, the DAMS driver taking his maiden pole position in F2.
Carlin driver Norris took second with Russell (ART Grand Prix) also beating Ghiotto (Campos) for third, the Italian failing to improve after being caught out by Latifi's late spin.
Trident's Santino Ferrucci took fifth, beating Sergio Sette Camara (Carlin) and Jack Aitken (ART) by 12 and 36 thousandths of a second respectively.
The top 10 was completed by Arjun Maini (Trident), Nyck de Vries (Prema) and Ralph Boschung (MP).
Gunther, who returned to the track during the mid-session break, recovered from his early mechanical issue to take 11th.
Several drivers including Maini, Aitken, Tadasuke Makino and Gunther had off-track excursions. Roy Nissany also went off-track but his car was pushed away by the marshalls.
UPDATE: Ferrucci lost his fifth place on the grid after he was disqualified for having lower tyre pressures than allowed.
In addition, both Arden cars of Gunther and Nirei Fukuzumi, who were 11th and 16th respectively, were disqualified as the team had "13 team personnel associated with the operation of the team’s cars, over the maximum allowable allocation of 12."
All three, as well as Nicholas Latifi who failed to set a representative time in qualifying, will be allowed to start Saturday's feature race from the back of the grid.
Revised qualifying results:
|3||George Russell||ART Grand Prix||1'54.842||0.362|
|4||Luca Ghiotto||Campos Racing||1'54.980||0.500|
|5||Sergio Sette Camara||Carlin||1'55.212||0.732|
|6||Jack Aitken||ART Grand Prix||1'55.236||0.756|
|8||Nyck de Vries||Prema Powerteam||1'55.728||1.248|
|9||Ralph Boschung||MP Motorsport||1'55.761||1.281|
|10||Tadasuke Makino||RUSSIAN TIME||1'56.139||1.659|
|11||Roberto Merhi||MP Motorsport||1'56.532||2.052|
|12||Antonio Fuoco||Charouz Racing System||1'57.090||2.610|
|13||Louis Deletraz||Charouz Racing System||1'57.105||2.625|
|14||Sean Gelael||Prema Powerteam||1'57.508||3.028|
|15||Artem Markelov||RUSSIAN TIME||1'57.604||3.124|
|16||Roy Nissany||Campos Racing||2'01.902||7.422|
|EX||Maximilian Gunther||Arden International||1'55.970||1.490|
|EX||Nirei Fukuzumi||Arden International||1'57.351||2.871|