After a troublesome Canadian Grand Prix last weekend, where tyre management proved a problem for the McLaren F1 team, Fernando Alonso is looking to find improvements at the all new Baku City Circuit and hopefully finish in the points.
“The Canada race weekend started relatively well, but in the race we were outpaced by stronger teams. It was difficult to maintain heat in the tyres in cooler temperatures, which meant they didn’t perform as well, so we struggled to keep up with the guys in front.
“Some of Baku’s characteristics are similar, and despite being a street circuit will still be very demanding on power units and chassis. But, we’ll attack the weekend in our usual way, and keep pushing for more improvements in each session.”
The Spaniard is also looking forward to experiencing the excitement and adventure that arise from visiting an all new venue, and the unknown variants that come with it.
“I’m already really looking forward to getting out on track for the first time in Baku on Friday. The track layout is a really impressive hybrid of the buzz of a street circuit, with its tight narrow streets and close racing, and a more traditional track, where there are high speeds and solid overtaking opportunities.
As Baku Ambassador, Alonso has had the opportunity to see the plans and the new layout come together, and having also driven the track on the simulator, the double world champion is looking forward to the challenging race we should have in prospect.
“This circuit is a great mix of both worlds, and as the fastest of any previous street track, I’m excited for the challenge and to see what’s possible in these kinds of conditions, where everything is a little bit unknown.
“I’ve already driven the track on the simulator and there’s certainly a lot that makes it unique – medieval walls close to the edge of the newly-laid asphalt, anti-clockwise corners, minimal run-off – so it seems to have all of the ingredients to give us a bit of drama and the prospect of exciting racing.”
It will be a tough race in Baku for the McLaren Honda boys, with the tracks very long straights, but they are prepared and ready to push to the maximum the MP4-31 and its engine will allow.