F1 in focus: Charles Leclerc can’t wait for Baku’s ultimate street fight
RB Spy looks forward to a ‘billion-dollar game of dodgems’ at the Azerbaijan GP
“Chaos, carnage, controversy”. Just three of the words that Sky Sports uses to describe the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix which takes place this weekend.
Held in the city of Baku the Azerbaijan GP has become an unmissable race on the calendar as the 20 drivers take on F1’s “ultimate street fight”.
Red Bull Racing’s “Spy” admits he is not a particularly big fan of street circuits but “Baku is different”.
Calling the Azerbaijan GP a “multi-billion dollar game of dodgems”, the RB Spy said in his blog: “Baku has all the exciting things people like about street races: big walls, low grip, overly-enthusiastic driving.
“Plus the stuff that tends to make a proper F1 race exciting too: overtaking opportunities, strategy decisions, setup dilemmas, high-speeds etc - basically, all the stuff street races traditionally lack beneath the endless conveyor-belt of second gear, 90° corners that are a waste of a perfectly good F1 car.”
Leclerc up for the challenge
One driver who is certainly ready for the Baku test is Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. The BBC reports that the 21-year-old has “thrown down the gauntlet” ahead of Sunday’s race.
Leclerc, who is currently fifth the 2019 drivers’ standings, said: “Azerbaijan is one of my favourite tracks of the season, I simply love it and I’ve always performed very well there, having won and got another podium finish in Formula 2 and also scored my first Formula 1 points last year.
“I always enjoy driving on it, especially the castle part with all those tight corners. It’s a unique track, you cannot find anything like it anywhere else in the world, so it’s pretty special.
“The rule is quite simple: never lose focus during the race otherwise at the first mistake you’re in the wall. Baku is a demanding track, but I can’t wait.”
Baku race guide
Sunday’s F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix starts at 1.10pm (UK time). See our race guide for the Baku weekend schedule and predictions.
F1 news headlines
A round up of what the media are writing about in the world of Formula 1.
- Azerbaijan GP: Can Baku deliver more surprises? (BBC Sport)
- Azerbaijan GP: The crazy street-fighting chaos of Formula 1 in Baku (Sky Sports)
- F1 gender pay gap revealed to be above UK average at all but one British team (Independent)
- Kubica: Everybody at Williams is a victim (Planet F1)
- Magnussen confident Haas will rebound (Planet F1)
- Miami GP switches focus to stadium circuit plan (Autosport)
- Azerbaijan GP an important moment for Ferrari - Mattia Binotto (Motorsport Week)