Force India are eager to add more points to their tally as they take to Formula 1's new street circuit, Baku…
Sergio Perez: “The last weekend in Canada was not one of the easiest for me, so to come away from it with a point was a good result. I have now been in the points for the last four races on a range of very different tracks: this builds our confidence and makes us believe we can challenge for a place in the top ten in every race.
“To prepare for Baku I have watched the onboard video that was circulated and the first impression is that the track is going to be really challenging. There are a lot of tight sections, as you would expect from a street track, but it looks more high-speed than Monaco: it’s the kind of circuit I enjoy driving and it should make for a good show.
“I’ve never been to Azerbaijan, so it feels like an adventure. It’s always interesting to explore a new place for the first time and take in the sights of a new city. It’s great that our sport keeps going to new countries and reaching out to new fans. Once we get to the track, though, it’s business as usual. It’s important to learn the circuit quickly, so the track walk with the engineers and the first practice session are crucial. You need to get up to speed within a handful of laps.”
Nico Hulkenberg: “Canada was a positive race as we were able to get the most out of a relatively straightforward weekend. To finish eighth in a race with such low attrition was a very good result and it showed we can fight for points everywhere. There is every reason to believe we can continue this run as we approach the summer break, and this obviously spurs us on.
“I’m massively excited about the race in Baku, actually! New venues are cool; everything is fresh and everyone welcomes you. I have to admit I don’t know a lot about Azerbaijan, so it will be exciting to get to know this new place. I like to arrive in a place and get out to discover it: it’s one of the perks of our job, being able to see so much of the world.
“Learning the track is crucial. I haven’t had a chance to try it in the simulator yet but I saw the video on YouTube earlier last week. In any case, it really is all about getting there, getting into the car and finding out about the track in those first few laps. The layout looks fast, especially for a street circuit: there is a massive straight, with just a few flat-out kinks, and some more twisty sections which will require a compromise in terms of set-up. I am a big fan of street circuits: they provide you with unique thrills, you drive close to the walls and it’s much more of a challenge to push your car and yourself to the limit.”