Drivers have been reacting largely positively to the challenge posed by the new Baku City Circuit, with reservations about certain aspects being mostly out-weighed by the thrill of the Azerbaijan's 'on the limit' nature.
“The circuit was very slippery in the morning, when I went out I was sliding around a lot, it was very similar to Valencia in many ways. But then the better part of the track is that it has a combination of corners like Monaco where you're really having to attack these braking zones and commit to corners with barriers on the exits which is really tricky. We're doing 220mph down the main straight and 200mph down some of the other straights and then committing to these corners. I tell you, you definitely have your heart in your mouth. It's a real challenge so far to really be on the limit but I'm feeling pretty much at home.”
“It is cool to have these high speed corners on the edge. The straight is long so you get a chance to breath, but pretty much all the corners keep you busy and occupied. There is no real easy corner on the track, which is good for the challenge."
In the beginning, it took some time, plus it's quite tricky at the start. It's definitely been more fun this afternoon, it seems a nice track, quite challenging, especially the high-speed sections, the middle and the end of the lap. The narrow bits are quite interesting.
“I think in general it's quite OK to drive. Just sometimes the run-off areas are a bit tight, like I went wide in Turn 3 and I had to reverse twice to get out of it again. That's not ideal but in general the track itself is quite fun to drive.”
I like this kind of track, that doesn't allow any mistakes and if you do a mistake then you pay it. I don't see any danger. If you do a mistake, you just run wide and lose a couple of seconds. I think tracks should be like this. id not think they are more dangerous but they are more challenging for the driver.
“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.
“It's a really exciting track, really, really fast considering it's a street circuit. It's amazing some of the corners, the speed we're doing, like Turn 13, Turn 18 is quite oppressive, quite a challenging track, a long track with many many corners. That's a big ask for the drivers, to put the laps together and get them in. A bit like singapore it reminds me. All in all, it is really positive.
“We found a very fast track, as we knew, with a very long straight but the corners gave us some challenges, maybe we need to have a look at the things we can improve in some corners, like the lines, the inside kerbs, that are making the corners very tight. It's something like we did in Singapore a few years ago, where it was necessary to make some tweaks to the circuit."
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