04 Jun 2021
2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Practice
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: It has been a tough day with high quality laps around this long circuit at an absolute premium. Having had a decent first practice session, we lost valuable time on Nicholas’s car this afternoon when the power unit protection strategy was triggered following a trip down the escape road. Unfortunately, Nicholas couldn’t get the car back on track quick enough to prevent the power unit getting too hot and so the protection strategy intervened to prevent any damage to the unit.
George had a smoother day but struggled a bit for pace at both low and high fuel. However, we got most of the key work done and we know that there is more time to come from both car and drivers as this is not a circuit to push too hard too soon.
The tyres are given a hard time on this long track, especially when the track is hot and there will probably be little room for error during qualifying tomorrow. There are likely to be some incidents during the session and it is possible that not all drivers will get the chance to show their pace in Q1. The race could be interesting with a range of tyre strategies possible.
George Russell: It was a tough day here in Baku. Our competitors are looking a little faster than we expected, but I think with some hard work tonight and the right changes to the set-up we can find some lap time. I wasn’t pushing the boundaries massively as it’s only practice so it’s about getting the laps under my belt and finding a rhythm. Hopefully I can make it count when it matters tomorrow; Q2 is the goal for me and I think it’s possible if we can put absolutely everything together. Above all, I think the race on Sunday is going to be really interesting.
Nicholas Latifi: In FP2, I moved out of the way of another car but couldn't turn back left to get back onto the track. In the time it took me to reverse from the escape road the power unit got too hot; the safety measures put in place to make sure it doesn't get damage kicked in and it shut off. Unfortunately, that was the end of my session.
You don't want to miss track time, especially on a street circuit, so it's not ideal but we will make the best of it and see what we can do. Q2 is still the objective for us as a team but we need to see where we are in FP3 tomorrow.