Formula 1

Vandoorne Looking to “Take Advantage of Any Drama” in Baku

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Credit: Steven Tee/McLaren

Stoffel Vandoorne is hoping to capitalise on any drama the streets of Baku may offer in the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix to add points to his 2018 account.

Last year’s race in Baku saw drama throughout the field, from which Daniel Ricciardo scored a memorable victory. Vandoorne finished twelfth but on a track he enjoys, the Belgian will look to add to his tally of six points scored so far this year.

“Baku City Circuit is a pretty tough but also enjoyable track, and it’s quite challenging for the drivers,” says Vandoorne. “You literally drive through the historic centre of the old town which was a really cool experience last year, and overtaking is tricky on the narrow streets.

“Saying that, we saw anything but a processional race last year and hopefully we can take advantage of any drama that this track throws at us next weekend. Last year was tough as the only real overtaking opportunity is at the end of the long straight, and it’ll be tricky for us again, but we’ll see what’s possible with the MCL33.”

Vandoorne points to his race starts as a weakness he will need to get on top of in Baku if he is to maximise his potential.

“As well as making sure we set ourselves up on the right strategy, for me the start will be crucial on Sunday. I’ve not had the best starts over the last couple of races and with overtaking tough here we need to try to maximise our starting position.

“In China, we fought hard but I picked up some floor damage which made pushing ahead very difficult, so I’m looking forward to a tight battle in the midfield and progressing as much as we can in the race.”

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