Verstappen eager to see what Baku has in store

Max Verstappen says he’s looking forward to returning to Baku for next weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

“Baku in my opinion is quite a special street circuit,” said the 19-year-old this week.

“It’s really unique in terms of having quite wide sections, but also some of the tightest parts of track on the calendar,” he explained.

“Sector 2 is tighter than parts of Monaco which has always been regarded as really narrow and challenging.”

This year, Verstappen finished in fifth place in Monaco. He’s hoping for a repeat of that sort of performance, rather than the engine failure that put him out in Canada.

Last year proved a frustrating race for the Dutch driver. He qualified in ninth place and clashed twice with Valtteri Bottas in the early part of the race.

He then suffered extreme tyre degradation and only came alive with a late switch to the medium compound. After all that drama, he ended up finishing the race just one place up on his grid position.

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If nothing else, Verstappen is determined to enjoy the city itself this time around.

“When you drive up into the old town and past the castle it is fun and tricky but also amazing to watch as a spectator,” he said

“That section of the track is my favourite. The straight is quick but seems to go on for a long time and gives you a chance to relax a bit.”

Verstappen said that the facilities in Baku were excellent. However, he was wary that the nearby location of the team hotel would make them complacent about getting out and seeing the sights.

“The hotel is really nice and new, as well as being situated right next to the paddock. I didn’t manage to get out and have a look around last year,” he admitted.

“The old town is fun to drive so I think I should try and get up there one evening this year and see what else it has in store.”

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