Marcin Budkowski, ALpine CEO, stated that the team is going to bring new upgrades to Baku to score as many points as possible on Sunday.
Baku is the second street circuit that will host a Formula 1 race after Monaco. However, it is different from Monte Carlo, therefore, Alpine decided to prepare a new upgrade package to be ready to grab any opportunity which will show up in Azerbaijan.
“Baku is another street circuit, but one where you need a lot less downforce than Monaco, as there are long straights and fast corners. We are going to bring another little package of improvements. We have worked very hard in the factory to get it ready, and we analyzed what happened in Monaco to arrive in Baku with the best possible information,” explained Budkowski.
“We have seen races full of incidents at this circuit, so it will be very important to take advantage of any opportunity we have. The aim is to be as close as possible to the top so that we can benefit from everything that may happen in front,” he added.
Baku is the place where Alpine wants to prove that the car is competitive, and Monaco was just a difficult weekend that will not repeat in the future.
“After two promising races in Portugal and Spain, Monaco has cut our progression. It was not a good weekend, and although we achieved two points, we lost ground against our closest rivals. We are going with the lesson learned to Baku, and we have taken advantage of these days to regroup and come back stronger.”
Esteban Ocon added that he likes racing in Baku and admitted that anything can happen, therefore, he wants to be ready to take any occasion of scoring points.
“I like racing in Baku. It’s a very unusual circuit where, as we’ve seen in the past, anything can happen. It’s an interesting layout with long straights, followed by some very challenging and closely spaced corners in sector two. It’s a circuit where you can see three or more cars go wheel to wheel down the straights, which, on a street track, is incredible. That’s what makes the race in Baku so exciting as there are opportunities to make some places. I’ve not been to Baku for a couple of years, and like in Monaco, I’ll build up my confidence in the car through the practice sessions.”
Fernando Alonso also said that the race in Baku is quite unpredictable. Plus, he said that it is easier to overtake in Baku, and having a good straight-line speed will be crucial.
“After two races in a row – where it was quite tough to overtake – it’s nice to have a race where it’s more possible. I’ve qualified outside the top ten in my past two races here but gone on to finish inside the points. It shows anything can happen in what is usually a very unpredictable weekend. The circuit has a mix of areas where the priority is top speed, with the middle sector more dependent on downforce and mechanical grip. It’s a challenging weekend for both car and driver, and finding a good balance with the setup will be very important.”