Azerbaijan Grand Prix Preview

Photo: Williams F1

At the Chinese Grand Prix the Williams duo was again relegated to the back of the grid. The team however did note the FW42‘s performance improved a bit so hopefully the trend will continue in Azerbaijan.

Another positive for the team is the return of Williams’ co-founder and long-time technical chief Sir Patrick Head, who made an appearance at the Chinese Grand Prix and is no doubt already providing the team with some valuable feedback.

On another interesting note, last week a rumor surfaced that Russian billionaire Dmitry Mazepin was in talks to purchase a majority stake in Williams, but soon Russian company Uralkali (Mazepin is a Deputy Chairman of its Board of Directors) denied any talks with the team.

Following the Chinese Grand Prix George Russell said Williams made some small changes to the FW42, but added they can’t be sure what kind of impact they’ll have on its performance.

Now Williams is getting ready for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix where recently they enjoyed some good performances. In 2017 Lance Stroll managed to score a third place podium finish for the team and in 2018, a terrible season for Williams, Baku was one of the few tracks where they managed to score points.

The Baku track is a street circuit that runs partly along the shoreline of the city’s historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the 2018 Formula 2 championship George Russell managed to win the second of two races held there and he did it from P12 on the grid. Robert Kubica didn’t have an opportunity to drive there yet, so this will be a new experience for him.

Follow our Azerbaijan Grand Prix coverage here.

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Comments from the team

Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: “The streets of Baku serve as the race track for round four of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship. The circuit delivers a variety of challenges, including some severe gradients, difficult braking zones, and a particularly long straight. With the main competitive sessions of the weekend taking place at twilight, the track can cool quickly, often catching drivers out.

“At over six-kilometres, the circuit is the second longest of the season, with only Spa Francorchamps being longer. Due to the varied layout of the circuit, we can expect teams to experiment with drag level during the weekend as drivers grapple with the conflicting requirements of long straights and a very tight twisty section in the middle of the lap. For our drivers, George is familiar with the track having won the Baku F2 Sprint race in 2018, but for Robert this will be a new experience in his comeback season.”

Robert Kubica: “It’s time for the fourth race of the season in Baku. The circuit looks challenging from what I watched last year, and definitely one of the most demanding tracks. It will be my first time driving there. In the past, I really enjoyed driving around these types of circuits, so I look forward to getting the same feeling I did in the past.”

George Russell: “I am really looking forward to going to Baku. Last year in FIA Formula 2 it was probably my strongest weekend and we should have won both races. I was leading the first one but had an unfortunate incident at the end of the race after a safety car and then came back to win the second race from P12 on the grid. I have great memories there, so I am looking forward to getting back to the street circuit of Baku.”

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