HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FIRST PRESS CONFERENCE OF RACE WEEKEND AT THE 2023 FORMULA 1 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX
The first press conference at the 2023 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix week, set to be hosted by the capital for the seventh time, took place on Thursday, April 27.
Ten F1 drivers shared their thoughts and answered the burning questions before the Baku race, and it was especially emphasized that all the focus is now on the Baku race after a long break following the Australian Grand Prix.
The main questions centered around the first Sprint race of the season, and the drivers welcomed the latest news stating that this will add even more excitement to the race.
"I think the changes to the Sprint format will give fans a more exciting experience. I don't think the race will be easy and I feel some pressure. But I'm still looking forward to what will happen on the Baku track," said Haas team driver Kevin Magnussen.
Lando Norris from McLaren also shared his thoughts about the new Sprint race format: "We came to Baku with technical updates and I hope we will finish this week with good points. I think the new format of the Sprint race is a better format and we will focus on the race week and try to get the maximum result."
Red Bull driver Sergio Perez, who is currently in second place in the driver standings, said that although his team is currently in the lead, it is crucial to be more careful in Baku. “Any small mistake can be costly around Baku, there is no room for error. I have very good racing results here and the Baku track suits my style as a driver very well ”, – he added.
It should be noted that with three podiums, Sergio Perez is the driver with the most podiums in the history of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The seven-time world champion, from the Mercedes team, Lewis Hamilton, noted that he is happy to return to the track after a long break: "I think the race week in Baku will be the most exciting week of the year."
The Baku race, which started with the free practice on Friday, will feature Qualifying for the Sunday race. The first ever Sprint format - Sprint Shoot Out will take place before the Sprint race on Saturday.
The F1 Feature race of the race weekend – the Azerbaijan Grand Prix will take place on April 30 at 3 pm local Baku time.