Azerbaijan GP: Preview - McLaren


Although only in its fourth year, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix has become a modern-day classic.

The track layout, with its exceptionally long pit-straight, promotes exciting racing and there's no room for error from the drivers. It's also an interesting technical challenge, due to the delicate compromise between straight-line speed and slow-corner grip. The Baku City Circuit is the second longest track of the 2019 Formula 1 season.

Carlos Sainz: "Baku is one of my favourite circuits on the calendar, it's an unpredictable track but that's what makes it so exciting. You can always sense that all drivers look forward to this race, because everyone knows there could be an opportunity for something special.

"Last year I had a great race in Baku finishing fifth. My ambition is always to improve, at every track, every season, so hopefully we'll have a clean race and can perform strongly.

"It's been a frustrating start to the championship, with too much going on out of my control, but that is also part of racing. I'm determined to keep pushing no matter what and remain patient. Hard work, positive attitude and dedication always pay off."

Lando Norris: "Back to Baku! I had an interesting weekend there last year in F2, but I'm looking forward to running that long straight in an F1 car. It's an exciting track and I'm hoping it will give me a more exciting race than China, if we're lucky we'll have the chance to score some points.

"This street circuit is a little less forgiving than Australia and small mistakes can be punished harshly, so my focus is on avoiding that wherever possible. I want to be fighting for the duration of the race."

Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director: "The city circuit's mix of 90-degree corners, technical middle sector and long final straight create a unique challenge in Formula 1, and rarely do we see the cars reaching such high speeds on a street circuit. In many respects it is one of the most challenging venues we go to.

"A street race brings that extra degree of uncertainty, so race strategy is also challenging. Our pit-stop performances have been very good this year, so continuing to execute well on both of these fronts is certainly our goal.

"Another circuit, another set of challenges, but the same attitude! We remain calmly focused on doing all that we can, together with Carlos and Lando, to deliver the best possible race weekend and hopefully some points."

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Published: 23/04/2019
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