Ollie Bearman stormed to pole position in a frantic qualifying session for PREMA despite suffering from stirring damage in the stages.
Enzo Fittipaldi qualified second for Rodin Carlin as the Sauber Academy driver Theo Pourchaire set the third quickest time.
After a slight delay, the half an hour long qualifying got underway as Fittipaldi led the field onto the track.
All 22 cars continued to build tyre and brake temperature before attacking the 6km track on their flying laps.
FIA F3 champion Victor Matins ran deep at Turn 1 but managed to continue. Brad Benavides clattered into the wall at Turn 1 moments later causing a red flag in the opening stages of the session and a session ending amount of damage to his PHM Racing by Charouz.
The all-important qualifying session resumed after a long delay with 23 minutes to go in Azerbaijan.
Ralph Boschung set the first flying lap of the session with a 1:55.530 which was quickly beaten by a flurry of drivers including Ferrari junior Beaman.
Kush Maini slotted into P2 for Campos as Frenchman Isack Hadjar sat stranded in the pit lane with 17 minutes left. Hadjar touched the wall at Turn 5, damaging his suspension and costing him valuable tack time.
Dennis Hauger usurped Bearman at the top of the timesheets, the Norwegian set a 1:53.531 as the super soft tyre was able to yield multiple quick lap times.
After a lull in track action, a multitude of cars joined then circuit with 10 minutes remaining in qualifying, including Hadjar after his front suspension was fixed in a bid to set a lap time.
Fittipaldi went incredibly slowly on his out lap at Turn 6 as all the drivers wanted the all-important slipstream on the main straight.
In an attempt to gather tyre temperature, the drivers elected to drive a second build lap with five minutes to go as Hadjar started a flying lap.
The 18-year-old didn’t have the luxury of the tow on his lap and he set the 10th quickest time before he dropped to P17 at the end of the session.
Vesti improved to the top of the timesheets with a 1:53.271 in the closing stages as ART driver Theo Pourchaire got his car onto the front row.
Bearman touched the wall with a minute to go and critically damaged his suspension as he sat in P9.
Both DAMS driver Arthur Leclerc and Ayumu Iwasa didn’t start another flying lap before the chequered flag dropped.
Bearman set a blistering lap time at the death top snatch pole and the four points for pole despite enduring steering damaging as Fittipaldi drove to second place for Rodin Carlin.
PREMA driver Frederik Vesti set the fourth best time ahead of Hauger and Indian driver Jehan Daruvala.
Jak Crawford qualified seventh ahead of the reigning F3 champion Martins with Zane Maloney and Richard Verschoor rounding out the top 10.
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