After Monte Carlo, another challenge awaits Trident Motorsport. The street track of Baku, featuring high-speed straights and particularly slow sections, forces drivers and technicians to find a perfect set-up balance. Both making their debut at the Azerbaijani venue, Marino Sato and Bent Viscaal have the goal to quickly learn its secrets and be back to base with valuable points for the series.
From one port to the other, the FIA Formula 2 Championship will move from the glamorous streets of Monte Carlo to another city course located on a seashore. This time, it will be the high-speed Baku track, running along the Caspian sea. The venue will host the third round of the series and will provide its unique challenges. From the slower section flowing in the old city near its castle, which can be assimilated to Monte Carlo, to a high-speed part, more similar to Monza, the mix of conditions makes the Azerbaijani venue unique, and particularly difficult to approach for all competitors. They must find the right set-up compromise for two extremely difficult situations.
While overtaking is normally a difficult task on street circuits, Baku is clearly different, having long straights. As a consequence, passing is relatively easier and the outcome of qualifying does not impact the weekend balance as much as in Monte Carlo. In addition, the 6-km track is often hit by gusty winds, which interfere with the car's aero balance.
The two Trident Motorsport drivers, Bent Viscaal and Marino Sato will both make their Baku debut this weekend. For this reason, they will have to follow the advice of the team's technical staff and avoid making mistakes in practice and qualifying, to gain experience as quickly as possible and get to the three races with adequate knowledge of the track. Viscaal, who ended up in P11 twice at Monte Carlo, will have the aim of securing his first points of the season, which did not happen in the Principality mainly due to the result of the qualifying session, and a backward position for the Dutch driver on the grid. On the Monegasque venue, the 21-year-old driver from Albergen showed a very encouraging race pace. Marino Sato is also looking forward to his first run on Azerbaijani soil. The Yokohama-born racer, who scored points in the Sakhir opener, will aim to improve his score. In Monte Carlo, the Japanese driver was hampered by a broken engine in practice, which negatively affected his weekend.
Giacomo Ricci, Team Manager:
“Baku is a very demanding track, which requires drivers and technicians to find the right balance between its two technically very different parts. You go from a very fast section to a slow one, similar to Monte Carlo. Our drivers will both be making their debut there, and the team's technical staff will guide them with great attention and dedication. It will be key for Sato and Viscaal not to make mistakes in free practice, and to put up a good qualifying session, even if the shape of the Azerbaijani track offers many opportunities for overtaking. I am expecting a challenging weekend, but I am sure that we have the potential needed to get good results and improve our current championship position, which does not reflect what our cars have expressed so far ”.
The FIA Formula 2 Championship will go underway on Friday morning at 10:25 with a single 45-minute free practice session. Qualifying is scheduled for the same day at 14:30. Sprint Race 1 will be on Saturday at 11:25 am, while Sprint Race 2 will be at 17:40. The Feature Race, which will conclude the weekend, will start on Sunday at 12:45. Track activity will be fully broadcasted live by the Sky Sports F1 networks. Times are local time, two hours ahead of CET.