In the round-up: Daniel Ricciardo says the work he did with McLaren following the Monaco Grand Prix is showing in his improved performance in Azerbaijan.
Ricciardo’s work since Monaco proven in Baku pace
“I did quite a bit of work from Monaco into this race and spent a few days on the sim and I think the work has paid off,” he said.
Ricciardo had previously struggled getting his car turned into corners, saying he didn’t believe he could replicate what Norris had been doing at times. “I think the understanding of the car and the turning feels as expected and I’ve just got to now execute what I know I can do, just to put it all together.”
Asked to predict his qualifying position, Ricciardo joked: “Somewhere between first and 20th…”
Baku pit entry “dangerous” – Rosberg
Speaking in a video track guide to the circuit, Rosberg described the high-speed approach to the pit lane as “quite scary” and “one of the places that I always found the most dangerous of the whole year”.
“You’re arriving down here now at 350kph, look what’s on the left,” he said, indicating the barrier which separates the track from the pit lane.
“Imagine something breaks on the car here – you’re at 350kph, on the left there, just four metres to your left, there’s a wall and it’s facing you. So if something breaks here, it’s the end, there’s no more you,” Rosberg continued.
“So it’s one of the most scary places that I’ve ever driven an F1 car in to go by there just feels ridiculously wrong. But anyway, you have to try and blend it out and keep going.”
Belgian and Dutch rounds firming up
Spa-Francorchamps was hit by a flood yesterday but the circuit is looking forward to being able to welcome fans to its round of the world championship on August 29th. The race promoters have confirmed up to 75,000 spectators will be able to attend. All must either be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or have a negative PCR test up to 72 hours before arriving at the circuit.
Formula 1’s long-awaited return to Zandvoort will take place one week later. Contrary to recent reports, RaceFans understands the Dutch government is not requiring all F1 staff to have been vaccinated prior to the event.
Formula 2 grid changes due to penalties
Following Formula 2 qualifying in Baku, several drivers had penalties applied that changed the order at the rear of the grid for sprint race one.
Sprint race one uses the grid as determined by qualifying, with the top ten reversed. No drivers within that top ten were penalised, however Christian Lundgaard, Jack Aitken and Guilherme Samaia were in the lower section of the grid.
Lundgaard was penalised three grid places for impeding Guanyu Zhou, Aitken the same for impeding Lundgaard and Samaia again for impeding Bent Viscaal. All three were also awarded one penalty point against their license for the series. As a consequence, Lundgaard went from 12th to 15th, Aitken from 14th to 17th and Samaia from 20th to 21st due to a penalty for Marino Sato ahead of him and Roy Nissany’s pit lane start following crash damage, both of which occurred during the earlier practice session.
Mercedes’ “worst Friday” down to one-lap pace
Mercedes’ trackside engineering director, Andrew Shovlin, said their poor performance – which saw the champion team end Friday seventh-fastest of the 10 teams – came down to one-lap performance deficits to Red Bull around Baku.
“Today was our worst Friday by some margin,” said Shovlin. “Our biggest issue seemed to be the single lap; we’re a long way from our normal positions so clearly we need to find something very significant there.
“The long run picture was not as bad – a fair bit behind Red Bull but still in the mix. So, lots to work on overnight; we’re planning a comprehensive programme of analysis and simulator work to try and understand some of these issues but we clearly have an awful lot to find.”
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