Lewis Hamilton topped both of the practice sessions in Baku ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix of Europe. The Mercedes look to have the slight advantage over Ferrari.
There have been a number of concerns with the kerbs around the circuit which have cut the tyres. Another issue is the bots holding the kerbs into the concrete under the asphalt track surface were also coming loose. They were welded together after FP1 but the problems have continued in to FP2.
This is very important as the street circuit is line with concrete walls and has long straights. The longest straight will be of most concerns as cars approach speeds of 220mph.
Hamilton looks good
Hamilton looked really good and like we seen in Monaco and Montreal he has returned to his best. He appears to have the lead over Rosberg and he will want to tick another win off as this is one of two (I believe) he hasn’t won at when it was held in Valencia and the Nurburgring.
He said ““A good day for me and a nice way to start the weekend. The track isn’t easy – not because the layout is particularly difficult to learn but because it’s very slippery out there.”
“It’s quite Monaco-esque in terms of braking and how close the barriers are – but you’re arriving at much higher speeds”
Force India / Williams
Ferrari appears to be slipping away from Mercedes and Williams / Force India are as you would expect be picking up as the challengers. I didn’t expect them to be ahead following Monaco and Montreal where Red Bull were strong.
Red Bull wanted to be there but this circuit is high speed where we know Renault have a speed deficit to Mercedes and Ferrari but this doesn’t matter on street circuits. This I will be the start of three circuits where they may struggle.
We would expect the battle for pole will be between Rosberg and Hamilton but I think the interesting fight will be row two between Ferrari and Williams. Track timing will be key because someone I expect will get caught out and this could mean there could be delays and some will be caught out.