Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen is all set to complete the unfinished business in Baku at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this weekend. The Red Bull driver has said that he wants to do the opposite of what happened last year. Notably, the Dutchman was heading for victory at the Baku Street track last year when a tyre exploded and pitched him into the barrier on the high-speed run along the city’s Caspian Sea waterfront.
Max Verstappen termed that accident unlucky and wants to make amends with new car and new tyre. "I’m looking forward to returning to Baku, we have some unfinished business there after last year," said the 24-year-old who has a nine-point lead over Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc.
"Last year was unlucky, simple as that," Max Verstappen said. "It was a very painful one, but that happens. That’s racing... it’s different cars, different tyres (this time) and we go again." More than Charles Leclerc, Verstappen has stiff competition from his Mexican teammate who finished at the helm in Baku last year and looks set to claim the title this year as well.
Sergio Perez outperformed everyone at the Monaco GP and looks set to retain his title in Baku as well. However, Max Verstappen looks determined and it is going to be exciting with both Red Bull drivers eyeing the top finish. Meanwhile, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will also look to make a comeback after a forgettable outing in Barcelona.
Unpredictable Baku track!
While all drivers will be pumped up to do something extraordinary in Baku this weekend, the track will test all of them with its unpredictable nature. The 6km-long Baku Street track, a mix of flat-out blasts and tight corners lined by unforgiving barriers, is famed for unpredictable races and has produced five different winners in five years on the calendar.
Mercedes have had the most success here with three wins. But a fourth one looks distant with Lewis Hamilton not in the best form. George Russell has shown potential but it won’t be easy racing on those tracks that keep throwing surprises.
Toto Wolf, however, is optimistic about his team’s chances. “Baku often produces some fun and crazy track action, and the layout generates good racing opportunities," said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff. "So, let’s see if it lives up to its reputation this weekend."