Azerbaijan 2019 - GP preview - Racing Point
“Baku has become one of my favourite races of the year. It’s a quick lap with good overtaking opportunities and that seems to generate lots of drama. I love the lap and it’s a real challenge for the drivers because the walls are close and you have to be so precise. Street circuits generally really test the drivers and I actually wish we had more on them on the calendar.
“I’ve been on the podium in Baku at two of the three races so far and I think my podium last year was one of my best races. I remember getting ahead of Vettel and then keeping him behind me during the final laps. I had to concentrate so hard and I drove some of the best laps of my life. Each lap was like a qualifying lap!
“This team has always been competitive in Baku so I am hopeful the same is true this year. For a number of reasons the track layout has always suited our cars. It’s a track where you need good top speed and confidence on the brakes. I was happier with our performance level in China, especially on Sunday, and we need to find the same rhythm in Baku.”
“I’m really pumped for this weekend in Baku. It’s a circuit I enjoy and a race with happy memories for me. I scored my first podium there in 2017 and I picked up points last year too. Baku is one of those races where you have to take your chances and make those opportunities count.
“I enjoy street circuits generally and the layout in Baku is great fun to drive. It’s quite a technical lap because there are lots of 90-degree corners, but also some really quick sections. The end of the lap is really fast and because it’s a street track the walls are really close to you. It’s tight with no margin for error and it always looks really spectacular on TV.
“This weekend is a good opportunity for us to score some more points. I think the track layout will suit us better than Bahrain and China, and we’ve done lots of preparation work in the simulator. I think we will see plenty of slipstreaming down the main straight again this year so I would expect some close racing.”
“We arrive in Baku determined to extend our run of points finishes. It’s a place where we have had success in the past and I think the track layout will play more to our strengths compared to Bahrain and China. At this time of year we just need to keep up our consistency and picking up points when we can. We know the middle of the grid is very close but nobody is running away in the points’ race just yet. There is all to play for because we are only five points away from fourth place in the standings.”
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