THere’s been a lot of talk and hand-wringing over the new European GP circuit in Baku. In particular the long straight and tight old town bits but Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has weighed in on the circuit:
“It looks spectacular around here, the circuit seems nice, especially the bit around the old town in the back, with a lot of uphill downhill sections, which you appreciate more when you see them from real than you probably feel by watching TV. It should be exciting, really interesting, getting into the car tomorrow and see how it feels.
It’s a completely new place, it would be a bit foolish to have any expectations. There is a lot of talk about the long straight, but it would also be worth mentioning that here the weather will be hot, which is really different from the races we had so far because it has always been colder than we expected. So here we’ll see how the tires work, and things like that I think: there is a lot of homework to be done tomorrow, for sure it’s more important to do it here because we have no experience from previous years.
Of course we expect to be strong but we have to wait and see. Generally we found out that our car is working everywhere, but we need to make sure that we unleash the pace in all sessions, in particular on Saturday, to make sure that we get where we deserve to be in qualifying. It’s a long race here , it’s the first race ever, there will be a lot of things unknown and hopefully tomorrow we can tick as many boxes as possible.”
The warmer weather may benefit teams like Red Bull and Ferrari but I doubt it hinders Mercedes so will there be a competitive potential for the Scuderia? Possibly given that their qualifying pace seemed much improved in Canada and with a new circuit, anything can happen. The unknown is the tires and how they will perform in warmer weather on varying asphalt.
Hat Tip: Ferrari