2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prixview
The track is unique, which makes it a very cool venue to go racing at. It’s an impressive layout: the straight is unbelievably long and then suddenly you get to a very narrow section, where you’re just KISSING the walls. Only one car at a time can pass here, which makes racing a challenge. There’s a ‘Monaco’ section but, at the same time, there’s also a ‘Monza’ section, so it’s a particular track and I like it.
Last year we had a very good qualifying session in Baku – I was P7 and our PACE was good. I even started the race P6… It’s just a shame that we were not able to finish the race. Hopefully this year we will have a better ending to the weekend.
In Baku we don’t run the risk of finding traffic on the way to the track as we stay literally a few steps away from it… You just wake up and you’re at work in a BLINK of an eye!
Even if I wanted to, I didn’t have much time to walk around Baku last year, but this year I’d really like to, as it seems to offer an interesting combination of old and MODERN architecture. One of the things I’d like to do is visit the Heydar Aliyev Centre…that building is really cool!
Scoring points at a race where we haven’t been able to do so yet is always a target – to score points for the FIRST time at any track is always a good feeling and hopefully we can have a good race there this year and score some!
You can’t compare the Baku track layout to Monaco, even if it’s a street circuit… It’s not better or worse, just different. It’s a very TOUGH circuit to race at – I wouldn’t say it’s tougher than Monaco, but it gets quite close to it and any small mistake can be critical, so you have to stay concentrated and focused at all times.
I enjoyed it there last year, I think it was quite a special race… It was just a shame I couldn’t get to finish it, because I was enjoying it a lot out there. I remember having very good BATTLES with the McLarens and Red Bulls and there was no rest.
We don’t get to enjoy the views while we drive at 300kph, but one of the things I like the most of Baku is the medieval CASTLE that becomes part of the backdrop while racing there – some of the photos of this race are unique!
One of the things I like the most is that our hotel is very close to the track… Literally just outside the Paddock entrance! This is perfect, as you get to sleep a bit more and feel much more comfortable as you have all your stuff only a couple of minutes away from the garage. If you want to, you can even go to the TOILET in your room during the day!
It was great to be able to meet Enrique IGLESIAS in Baku last year. He’s a great guy and not only I enjoyed it – my sisters are great fans and they were extremely happy to be able to spend some time with him. I remember them being quite nervous and it made me laugh. They also got to go to his concert that weekend, and again this year in Bahrain! I listen to his music a lot in the summer!