Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport‘s Toto Wolff says he expects this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix to be a weekend filled with unpredictability.
Last year’s edition in the streets of Baku saw incidents which became one of the highlights of the 2017 season. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and title rival Sebastian Vettel infamously clashed during the race behind the safety car. Daniel Ricciardo inherited the win whilst Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas claim second, passing Lance Stroll at the finish line.
For the first time in its three year history, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix will take place in April, instead of its usual June slot. The move was made to avoid the clash with the centenary celebrations of the Azerbaijan Republic.
The tightening street corners and long straights provide an unpredictable nature around the Baku City Circuit, which Mercedes’ Team Boss Toto Wolff said that the drivers will be wanting to hit the ground running on Friday.
“We’re going into the race weekend in Baku feeling excited about that unpredictability” said Wolff.
“It will be the first time the Azerbaijan Grand Prix takes place in April, with completely different conditions to the
previous years when we went to the Caspian Sea in June.
“This is a demanding circuit where the drivers need confidence in the car to find the right rhythm – and you want to hit the ground running on Friday morning.
“Last year’s race threw up a podium that nobody could have predicted and, as is the way with street courses, we can once again expect the unexpected.”
For the first time under the V6 Hybrid era that Mercedes completed the first three races without a win, but the team still leads the Constructors standings by one point ahead of Scuderia Ferrari.
With the Prancing horse now opposing a challenge, and the inclusion of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing with their latest win at the Chinese Grand Prix, Wolff the current season is set to be a one to remember for fans in years to come.
“The 2018 Formula One season is set to be a celebration of everything we love about motor racing.
Three teams are fighting fiercely for race wins” Wolff continued.
“We’ve witnessed exciting races with nail-biting overtakes. The fastest F1 cars in history, driven by some of the best drivers this sport has seen.”
“So far, this year has all the ingredients for one of those legendary F1 seasons – a season that fans will look back on with smiles on their faces in years to come.”