Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean is looking forward to revisiting the Baku Street Circuit this weekend, and thinks the new 2017 cars will be awesome to drive round the Azerbaijan track.
“It’s going to be pretty exciting. I think some parts of the circuit are going to be very tight for the wider cars, but some other corners are going to be really nice to drive.
“Straight-line speed is going to be a bit down. I think it’s going to be a really cool track to drive with these cars – braking late and carrying a lot of speed in the corners, and playing around with some pretty fast corners through the walls.”
Even though the cars are very different to the machines used here in 2016, the Frenchman believes they will still be able to take last year’s data and strategy into consideration this weekend.
“I believe there’s always a lot of things you can bring from the past, even when the cars are different.
“We’ll look at what we did last year, what our setup was like, and what we could’ve done better in the race.
“I think we’ve got some ideas and we’ll apply that with the deltas of this year. There are always things we can learn and improve.”
Last year, the Baku Street Circuit recorded the fastest speed ever seen in a F1 race, and with this year’s quicker cars, Grosjean is frothing at the mouth to drive the track. The race in 2016 was an enjoyable one for the Frenchman, with just one negative springing to his mind.
“The only downside we noticed was the plastic bags flying around – they actually cost us points in the race as one got caught in the radiator intake.
“Hopefully, that’s improved. For me, that was the only downside of what was a really good weekend.”
The castle complex, which runs through the Old City, is both the most challenging and most enjoyable section of the track for the Haas driver, because you have to get the perfect line to take it just right.
“I would say it was the back end [that is most challenging] – going around the castle, up the hills, then going back down and the two last corners, which were actually pretty tricky.”
“Actually the same part [is my favourite]. It’s the most challenging one.
“It’s pretty high speed and you’ve got to get the right balance in those corners as well as the braking. It’s pretty exciting when you get it right.”
Grosjean finished out of the points at last year’s race, then run as the European Grand Prix, and will be hoping to put that right with a strong result this weekend.