Daniel Ricciardo says he is anticipating great things for F1's maiden trip to Baku later this month, both on and off the track.
The Azerbaijani capital joins the ranks of grand prix hosts one week after the forthcoming Canadian round and, while his immediate focus remains on trying to repeat his 2014 win in Montreal, Ricciardo is intrigued by what Bernie Ecclestone's travelling circus will find in the Caucasus.
“[After Canada], it's on to Baku, and I'm excited to go there because it's a new track so it's going to be a challenge for everyone,” Ricciardo insisted, admitting that 'the fact that it's a street circuit is really cool'.
The Baku round will complete a triumvirate of street courses on the back of Monaco and Montreal and brings its own unique features as the layout takes in both the old and modern parts of a city Ricciardo is interested to learn more about.
“I'm pretty optimistic that the city itself will be quite good fun,” the Australian grinned, “I've seen some pictures of it and it looks cool – it sort of reminds me of Budapest a little bit, so let's see, I'm pretty excited to go there.”
In the meantime, however, Ricciardo will be looking to put the back-to-back disappointments of Barcelona and Monaco – both races he feels he could, and should, have won – behind him with a return to the top step of the podium in Montreal.
“I love Canada, I love Montreal, the city's great and I really enjoy the circuit,” he enthused, “I like the people a lot, it's a very friendly city – it's easily one of my top five races.
“It's also a place where you can really muscle the car around the chicanes, which is fun. I love the race – my first win in Canada will always be special so I'm keen to get back there. Unfortunately last year was probably my worst race of the year but I hope it will be a lot better this year.”