Felipe Massa is aiming to put the disappointment of his opening lap retirement in the Canadian Grand Prix behind him with a return to the points this weekend at the Baku Street Circuit.
The Williams Martini Racing team secured a double points finish in Azerbaijan in 2016, with Massa scoring the final point on offer in tenth, but after being collected by an out-of-control Carlos Sainz Jr at turn three on the opening lap at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve last time out, Massa is aiming for a strong result this weekend.
“I’m really looking forward to returning to such a nice country, and to a unique race track, which is in the heart of the city,” said Massa. “There’s a lot of 90-degree corners and a flat out section from Turn 16 all the way down the long straight to Turn 1, where we reach some really high speeds.
“We had a double points finish there last year, and after my early retirement in Canada I hope we can come away with another strong result and some good points.”
Team-mate Lance Stroll comes to Baku on the back of his first points finish of his Formula 1 career in Canada, but the young Canadian admits this weekend is likely to be difficult without any prior experience of the track, either in person or in the simulator.
“Going to Baku will be a totally new experience as not only have I never been there before, but last year when the race was on I missed it on TV as I was competing somewhere else,” said Stroll. “I don’t know what it is like yet as I haven’t done any simulator work and usually do this just before I fly to the race.
“The stories I have heard are of a really cool place and so I am really looking forward to seeing it for myself. It is yet another new experience and new country for me which is something else that I find exciting about Formula One.
“However, this will be my last ‘new’ experience for a while as I have already raced at the next handful of tracks.”