The Ferrari driver had been one of the favourites for pole position at Baku, but it all went wrong in Q2 when he locked up under braking for the tight Turn 8 corner and ran into the barriers.
The impact was enough to put him out of qualifying and leave him provisionally ninth on the grid on a day when he had been gunning for the top spot.
Speaking to Sky, Leclerc said he was kicking himself for the crash.
“I deserve what happened today,” he said. “I am very, very sad for what happened. But I deserve it. I’ve been stupid – as I said on the radio.
“I’ve calmed down but I still think I’ve been stupid. This doesn’t change. I will push to learn from this and come back stronger and hopefully have a good race tomorrow.
“I don’t want to say anything stupid but I think looking at FP1, FP2, FP3 and Q1, pole was possible today and I threw all the potential in the bin. So I am very disappointed and I will come back stronger from this.”
Leclerc also tweeted that he had been ‘useless’ with the way he had crashed.
Leclerc reckoned that the lock-up was caused by him trying to brake with the same force that he had used on the soft tyres – which proved to be too much for the mediums.
“I braked as much as I did on the soft but I was on the medium, so I locked up,” he added. “But again, I don’t want it to be misunderstood; there is no problem with the tyres it was just myself. I am very disappointed.”
With Ferrari having strong straightline speed, Leclerc knows there is still potential for a good race result – even if he remains unhappy.
“You can definitely overtake and I will push for that tomorrow, but for the next three or four hours I will just be beating myself up,” he said.