Azerbaijan GP: Preview - Alfa Romeo


Formula One returns to Azerbaijan after a one-year, Covid-induced hiatus: one year away from the square corners, tight confines and impossibly long and fast final sector of the Baku City Circuit that did only make us look forward to this race even more.

Races in this venue have a knack for surprises: plenty of thrills and spills peppered previous editions and there's every chance this year's, too, will turn up to be a classic. In any case, chaos or not, the team heads to the shores of the Caspian Sea with their heads held high and the quiet confidence of a squad that, having finally opened their point tally in Monaco, is ready to for more.

First Q3 of the season - check. First top ten finish of 2021 - check. Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN have demonstrated the team's relentless progress is allowing Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi to fight for places in the upper half of the field both on Saturday and Sunday and there's no reason for the fun to stop now.

A circuit like the one in Baku should allow for all the overtaking we didn't get in Monaco: opportunities to pass are definitely available around the 6 km track, in particular on and at the end of the endless final straight. As always, the battle with the close in the midfield, but we're ready to show all we can do: fighting in the streets has never been this appealing.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal: "We approach the next race full of confidence in our team, our car and our chances. Breaking our duck and scoring a point in Monaco has been important, mostly from the psychological side, as we finally had a weekend where bad luck didn't hamper our progression. We still feel a bit of disappointment as we know we could have finished even higher up the road, but this just shows how much potential we still have. We come to Baku ready to continue placing our cars in Q2 and beyond, have another good race and hopefully bring home another strong result."

Kimi Raikkonen: "It's nice to see the team getting stronger with each race and I hope this weekend can be a good one for us. Races in Baku can be very chaotic and it's always a good chance to get a good result if we do our job properly. We know what we have to do - get the most from every session, from Friday to Sunday: we have shown we can battle with everyone in the midfield so let's see how it goes."

Antonio Giovinazzi: "Baku is one of my favourite tracks to race on, I love it. I have some very good memories here from my time in GP2 and I had a strong Saturday when I first came here in F1, in 2019. I had my first Q3 on that day and I would love a repeat performance this weekend. Getting a point on the board last time out in Monaco was a good result, even more so when we think about how strong we looked. We are confident we can carry over this form here and continue to reap the results of the progression we have made."

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Published: 01/06/2021
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