The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team is heading out to the fourth round of the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship in Azerbaijan.
It will be the first race of the season to take place on a proper city circuit – one that challenges the participating teams in terms of tyre management and finding the right set-up that will allow them to extract the maximum performance of their cars on long straights and narrow turns.
Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc return to Baku with good memories from their respective races in 2017. While Marcus Ericsson finished in P11 in the 2017 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc had great success in the 2017 FIA Formula 2 races there, in which he finished in P1 and P2.
Marcus Ericsson: “The race in Baku will be our first street race of the season. It is quite a cool track, with a good mix of high-speed sectors and challenging corners. What is special about the track is that it features some twisty parts, mainly around the castle. The track is very narrow there, and you must be very precise as a driver. Another challenge will be to set up the car to suit the demands of the circuit. Tyre management will be a key factor, as the degradation of the tyres is quite high during the race. I look forward to going to Baku, and continuing our strong performance from the first three races of the year.”
Charles Leclerc: “I look forward to going back to Baku. I had a strong race there last year, when I was competing in Formula 2, and feel quite comfortable on the Baku City Circuit. I particularly like city tracks. They are challenging for drivers, as you cannot afford to make any errors. The atmosphere there is great, and the view of the old town and castle is spectacular. It will be interesting to learn about the tyre management during the practice sessions. This will prepare us for the challenges of this circuit, and allow us to work on finding the right set-up and perform well in the race. I’m excited to be back in the car.”