The FIA Formula 2 Championship road takes to another street circuit this weekend, swapping Monaco for Baku and the Azerbaijan round.
Red Bull Junior drivers Jehan Daruvala, Jüri Vips and Liam Lawson are all determined to better their results. After just six of 24 races for the season, Lawson sits in fifth position overall, on 36-points, Daruvala in eighth on 29-points and Vips in 11th on 22-points.
“It’s exciting to be here, it seems that Baku always provides exciting racing,” commented Lawson. “Obviously there’s a massive straight and there’s normally a lot of overtaking so I’m very much looking forward to it. I like street circuits, I love Monaco and though this is a completely different type of circuit I’m very much looking forward to driving on it.
“We’ve done a couple of sim sessions, it’s quite a long lap so putting everything together for the perfect lap will be very important for Quali,
“The track evolution on a street circuit is always a major factor, there’s a big change, through Practice, Quali and the Races. The track gets faster and faster, and it’s a question of when to step up the pace, that’s quite important.
“We run low downforce so that means a different type of driving, the car is a lot looser, this track is also quite low grip as well, being a street circuit so it all makes it very different to a weekend on a normal circuit.”
Vips contrast the street circuits of Baku to Monaco.
“Its a street circuit but it is very different to Monaco, here the long straights make overtaking ridiculously easy. So normally the races are really hectic here and you have to be clever and stay out of trouble. There is a very fine line between crashing and making up spots, winning the race.”
“As far as car set-up goes it’s a little bit like Monaco in that it is a street track so some of the balance items and things you’ve learned carry over but generally it’s quite different. It’s low downforce because of the long straights, it’s more about speed,” concluded the Hitech driver.
Daruvala is looking for some redemption after a poor weekend in Monaco, but doesn’t expect it to be easy.
“After a disappointing weekend in Monaco I’m very happy that we are out again so soon,” enthused the 22-year-old Indian. “It’s another street circuit and obviously I’ve never been here before. I’m really looking forward to it, I have done everything possible in preparation and I’ve learnt from Monaco. So I’m looking forward to be back where we belong, right at the front.”
“Its almost Monza wing pretty much,” explained the Carlin driver. “So it’s going to make the middle sector and the braking zones pretty tricky.”
Baku weekend schedule – all times AZT, Azerbaijan Time (CEST +2)
Friday 4th June
10:25 – Free Practice (45 minutes)
14:30 – Qualifying (30 minutes)
Saturday 5th June
11:25 (7:25pm Saturday NZ time) – Race 1 (21 laps or 45 minutes)
17:40 (1:40am Sunday NZ time) – Race 2 (21 laps or 45 minutes)
Sunday 6th June
12:45 (8:45pm Sun NZ time) – Race 3 (29 laps or 60 minutes)