After scoring two podiums and sitting third in the Constructors’ Championship, McLaren are keen to keep their momentum going, heading into this weekend’s Azerbaijan GP.
Heading to the second street circuit in a row for the 2021 Formula 1 season, the Azerbaijan GP should provide a more complete racing experience for both racers and fans this weekend.
While Monaco is steeped in racing history and traditions, it is near impossible to overtake at the circuit. Making for a somewhat dull race should there be no safety car intervention. As was the case at this year’s event.
The track at Baku on the other hand, while a street circuit, offers the opportunity for overtakes. A big factor being the incredibly long straight which offers up DRS and the chance for drivers to make a move.
Likewise with Monaco, the 2020 Azerbaijan GP was cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The last race held at the circuit in 2019, saw McLaren walk away with a double points finish. With Carlos Sainz finishing seventh and Lando Norris coming in eight.
A return to the circuit is welcomed by Norris, with the track a “challenge to master” due to the intricacies involved with the slow corners and long straights.
“It was a great feeling to be on the podium in Monaco after a well-executed weekend from the team,” Norris said. “We’re looking to keep this positive momentum going as we head to Baku. I’m looking forward to jumping in the car and racing on another street circuit for a second race in a row.
“Baku is a unique race with a mix of long straights and slow corners that make it an exciting challenge to master. It’s also unpredictable as you always get the sense that there will be opportunities, so we’ll need to be ready to make the most of them if they come our way. The key for us is to find consistency throughout the weekend to be able to walk away with a good amount of points on Sunday.”
Daniel Ricciardo looking for redemption
After what can only be described as a disappointing race at Monaco, Daniel Ricciardo is looking to bounce back at the Azerbaijan GP.
The Australian is having a tough time of it since joining McLaren this year. With his younger teammate Norris outperforming him in all areas. Ricciardo will no doubt bounce back at some stage during the course of the season, but when exactly that happens is anyone’s guess.
“Monaco wasn’t my weekend but I’m looking to bounce back,” said Ricciardo. “It’s been important to take time to reset and refocus before heading to Baku. The team and I have been working hard in the sim to understand, analyse and pinpoint the key areas we need to improve.
“We know the car has good potential, we just need to put all pieces together to unlock it. There’s still that element of adapting to a new car which I’m sure will come with the more time and mileage behind the wheel.
“Baku is a really cool street circuit and one of those races where potentially anything could happen. The track is known for having one of the longest straights on the calendar with three cars being able to run side-by-side as you head into Turn One. Hopefully, we can get the car into the right window from the off on Friday and have a solid weekend.”
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) June 1, 2021
McLaren will need a strong performance by both their drivers in order to keep a hold of third place in the Constructors’ Championship. As Ferrari continue to build their points in an attempt to catch the Woking-based team.