Jenson Button says driving the Baku City Circuit for the first time has not changed his opinion about certain issues with run-off and safety, even if he admits it is 'quite fun' to drive.
The McLaren-Honda driver enjoyed a positive day around the Azerbaijan circuit, setting the ninth fastest time in FP2, but had come into the day having signalled reservations about the pit-lane entry and the lack of run-off at certain corners.
Indeed, despite the better-than-expected start to his weekend, Button says neither experiencing the circuit nor the reassurance of FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting has changed his views on its shortcomings.
“I spoke to Charlie this morning and he assured all the right checks have been done, but driving the circuit is never going to make you change the way you feel about it. I haven't hit the walls, so I don't know how it feels…
“Nothing has changed in my mind. Formula One is a dangerous sport, we all know that, but some dangers are unnecessary.
“In terms of the proper track in some places you have good enough run-off areas, even if it's tricky because you have to reverse in some of them if you go straight – but that's fair enough. Turn 7 is the toughest one because if you lock up there you're straight into the wall.
Even so, Button admits the circuit has 'fun' elements to its, particular the high-speed areas, and he expects plenty of overtaking.
“The fast circuits are fun, it's quite different to have such fast corners in a street circuit. The FIA is always looking at the circuit, I think there's issues with the kerbs that need to be looked into and it will definitively be solved for tomorrow, because it's cutting tyres.
“I think in the race we'll get a lot of overtaking down the straight, so that will be quite fun, but it's also quite bumpy and the sparks make it more spectacular for the fans. We'll go racing and see what happens.”
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