Carlos Sainz Jr: “I don’t know what to expect!”

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Carlos Sainz Jr has expressed his eagerness to get the eighth round of the 2016 Formula 1 season in Azerbaijan underway as Baku Street Circuit hosts it’s first ever Grand Prix this weekend.

The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver finished ninth at the Canadian Grand Prix, an impressive finish after crashing out of qualifying on Saturday. Damage sustained to the STR11 meant the gearbox had to be changed leading to a gearbox penalty where he started down in twentieth.

The European Grand Prix is returning to the F1 calendar with Azerbaijan playing host to the Grand Prix, with this in mind drivers have only practiced for the Grand Prix on the simulator. After driving the Baku City Circuit a few times on the simulator, Sainz is really looking forward to experiencing a new circuit.

“I’m really looking forward to this race even if, to be honest, I don’t know what to expect!” said Sainz. “I’ve driven this track a few times on the sim, but experiencing a new circuit for the first time is always an exciting challenge.

“The first four turns are all 90-degree corners. Then, from Turn 5 onwards, it starts to get very interesting. It reminds me a lot of the Macau circuit: the section from Turn 7 to 12 is very similar to its tight section, while the long straight that goes from the exit of Turn 16 all the way to Turn 1 is very like its straight.

“The top speed here in Baku should be one of the highest of the season and it looks like you are flat out from the exit of Turn 16 all the way to the first corner! I think that the braking at Turn 15 will be tricky – at least it was on the sim! I can’t say much more as I’ve never been there. I just hope it’s actually as nice as Macau, which I’ve always regarded as the most iconic track and it would be great for Formula 1 to have a circuit like it.”