This weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix is one that usually offers plenty of unpredictability, resulting in some big points for some unexpecting drivers. Williams Racing will be hoping for the traditional Baku City Circuit chaos, so that they can get themselves back into the points places.
It’s been a tough few rounds for Williams, with the recent Monaco Grand Prix not being one for the British team to write home about, however, they have performed well in Azerbaijan before.
Lance Stroll finished on the podium for Williams in 2017, in what was another Azerbaijan classic. Whilst a podium looks unlikely, points could be possible if they are met with good luck.
Williams’ Head of Vehicle Performance Dave Robson, previewed what he’s expecting from the eighth round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
“The streets of Baku are a quite different challenge to those in Monaco and although there are some very tight and slow corners here, there are also long straights and fast corners to contend with. There is a temptation to significantly lower the downforce and drag level for this circuit but how far it is correct to do so will depend on a range of risk-reward trades, which the drivers will have to consider during the practice sessions.
“Like Monaco, Pirelli have provided the softest of their compound range, which should be suited to Baku providing that they don’t grain. The smooth track surface can make warm-up difficult, but this is compensated by the long lap.
“The camber of the roads, large gradient changes, and the varying track width all add to the challenge at this circuit and ensure that setting the car up to be strong over the full 6km lap is very tricky. However, the same circuit characteristics that provide the setup challenge also lead to good racing and exciting on-track battles in Azerbaijan. Taming the streets of Baku is not easy, but it can be enjoyable and rewarding when done well.”