Pierre Gasly says the technical middle sector of the Baku City Circuit will be exciting to tackle ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Gasly will return to the streets of Baku after racing around the the track in 2016 in the GP2 Series, where he achieved a best result of second place. He almost won the sprint race but lost out to Antonio Giovinazzi on the final lap.
Competing for the first time in an Formula 1 car, Gasly says he is excited to go there with Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda and is aware of the risks around Baku.
“Baku is a really exciting track because, first of all, it’s a street track so the risk is doubled or higher due to the walls everywhere, but I also think just the characteristics of the track with that long straight make it interesting” said Gasly.
“It’s super-fast! I think last year the top speed in Formula 1 was really crazy, so as a driver it’s super exciting but it’s also super risky.
“I’m excited to go there. I remember watching the race last year as a reserve driver and it was one of the most exciting Formula 1 races of the season so I’m happy to be part of it this year and hopefully, it’s going to turn out well for us.”
The six kilometre circuit is a technical layout with a mixture of long straights and complex street corners, making it a headache for the drivers to find the right set up over the weekend.
The French driver has highlighted the middle sector the track, where the drivers enter pass the old city of Baku, entering through the tight Turn 8 to Turn 10 complex where one error would end with a trip into the barriers.
“It’s exciting over the middle part, which is really technical, where it’s not possible to overtake and then when it comes to the straight, that’s when you start to have overtaking opportunities” Gasly continues.
“The straight feels very fast because the walls feel close and it definitely feels even faster when you come to brake for Turn 1!
“I finished second in the end of my GP2 race here, so it was a good race fighting for the victory until the last lap. I started 18th and finished 2nd… it was a crazy race but certainly one to remember!”