Baku, June 21, AZERTAC
Force India drivers preview the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
“There were a lot of things said after Montreal and lots of different opinions, but I’m pleased the team decided to let us race without team orders. I will always fight for the best result for the team and I’m proud of our race. There were discussions on the radio about switching positions with Esteban, but my pace was good and I was running close to Daniel [Ricciardo] for almost 50 laps. I knew my best chance to overtake was during the lapped traffic and I got very close, but we didn’t have the pace advantage to make the move.
“I feel positive after Montreal. The car was quick and we were competitive. It was always going to be one of our best circuits of the year, but we still had to deliver. It’s a good sign for Baku – another track with long straights and big braking zones. I always enjoy street tracks and the team has done a fantastic job to develop the car during the last few races. I think we will be in good shape this weekend too.
“The memories from last year’s race in Baku are still very strong. We had great pace and I loved the track layout. To recover from a gearbox penalty and still finish on the podium was a very special feeling. It was definitely one of my best weekends in Formula One. If we can find the sweet spot again this year I think we can fight for some big points.”
“I really enjoyed my first experience of driving in Montreal. When I got out of the car it felt as though I had only been racing for 15 minutes because everything went by so quickly – that’s when you know you’re having fun! It was another weekend where the team did a fantastic job improving the cars. Every time we went out in practice and qualifying, we took a step forward and that’s been one of our strengths this year.
“It felt great to be in the battle for a podium and to see how competitive we are as a team. It makes me feel excited about going to Baku and what we can achieve there. It feels like we’ve got a really good understanding of how to get the most from this car. It’s another new track for me, but I’ll keep trying to learn as fast as possible and I’m sure I can get on the pace quickly. I’ve been playing some computer games to learn the track so I’ve done my homework.
“Baku is a great destination for Formula One. Street races always generate a special atmosphere and the city is really cool. I was able to explore a bit last year so I know my way around the place and I’ve walked the track, but I’ve yet to drive there.”
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