European GP Practice
Objectives: Aero evaluations, set-up and tyre work.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: The first impressions of Baku are that it’s clearly a good track and definitely offers us a good opportunity to be near the front. I like the circuit layout and, apart from an issue with the kerbs in FP1 and FP2 which will hopefully be resolved by tomorrow, I think the organisers have done a very good job. As an engineer, it’s definitely an interesting track because it gives you a compromise, because sector three and sectors one and two have very different requirements. Valtteri’s been very happy with the car all day. There’s more to come from him though, because he’s still trying to find his feet around the circuit. Felipe, on the other hand, isn’t as happy with the car. We tried some different set-up options, as you sometimes do when you come to a new circuit, and thankfully at the end of the session we found a good direction and he was much happier with the car, which was reflected in his laptimes. We were reasonable on the low and high fuel runs, which suggests we can be competitive in all situations. So I’m very confident that we can have both cars up there at the front tomorrow with very similar laptimes.
Valtteri Bottas: It was an interesting day for me, I really like the track. It’s very demanding, it has some high speed corners and some twisty, more technical areas, so it’s definitely one of the most challenging tracks on the calendar, but at the same time it’s a lot of fun. Even though I felt good today, we can still improve the car a lot and get more from the tyres. I have high expectations for the weekend, but we have to keep working because at a new track there’s always more to learn, which I enjoy. It’s interesting finding out all the secrets corner by corner. We need to work hard to keep finding more laptime from me and from the car because we have the opportunity for another good result this weekend.
Felipe Massa: It was a very difficult day for me. I was struggling to get the tyres to work and I’ve never had a problem like this so far this season, so it’s something that we need to analyse. I couldn’t drive the car how I would like because the tyres weren’t within the working range, so whenever I was out on track I was struggling massively. All the other drivers were learning a lot and improving every lap but I couldn’t. There’s a lot of work to do before tomorrow, but I’m sure when we have looked at everything and made some changes, I’ll be competitive. It’s a nice track, of course you enjoy it more when everything is working properly, but the track is interesting. It’s not easy to find the lines in certain corners, particularly the slow sections.
Baku City Circuit, Baku 6.001 km / 3.728 miles
Warm and dry
Warm and dry
Air & Track Temperatures
26-28°C / 37-43°C
25-26°C / 31-36C
V Bottas, FW38-03, PU106C Hybrid
1:47.096 (3rd)
1:45.764 (4th)
F Massa, FW38-02, PU106C Hybrid
1:49.125 (8th)
1:47.060 (16th)
Quickest Time
L. Hamilton (1:46.435)
L. Hamilton (1:44.223)