Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2023 – Preview

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: Following a short break, the season resumes in Azerbaijan as we begin an intense period of racing, which sees five Formula 1 races in six weeks.

This weekend we take on the Baku City circuit in the first Sprint Event of the 2023 season. The format of the weekend is a little bit different to the sprint events of recent years with Saturday now a self-contained day and Friday evening qualifying alone setting the grid for the Grand Prix on Sunday.

The streets of Baku always provide an exciting event and this year will be no different. The circuit is challenging for the drivers and the engineers and with, very little time to set the car up ahead of Friday evening qualifying, there will be more uncertainty than normal when the cars enter Parc Ferme.

The FW45 should be well suited to the layout in Azerbaijan, but we will need to be agile and pragmatic to get the most out of it given the track resurfacing, the cooler temperatures and the lack of free practice time.

Pirelli have provided their softest compounds for this weekend and this is the first time that we have used the C5 compound competitively this year. The tyres should all work well at this circuit, but an allocation that is different to previous Sprint Events will add to the variability as the weekend progresses.

We are all excited to be racing again and we are looking forward to the weekend ahead in Baku.

Alex Albon: Going into Baku, the main talking point is the new format, with the need to get it right on Friday more important than it’s ever been. The team has done our prep on the sim, and it’s a familiar track so let’s see how the weekend goes. Most corners are low speed 90-degree corners, so the requirements of the circuit are quite consistent. If the car is good in one corner around here it tends to be good around the whole lap, and vice versa.

Logan Sargeant: I’m super excited to be getting back in the car this weekend in Baku. It’s been a long three weeks that we’ve used to put in a lot of hard work to keep learning and preparing for this round. It should be an interesting weekend as it’s a tough circuit and my first sprint event. I’m looking forward to taking on the challenge and hopefully having a good weekend.

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