Vettel: Thread-the-needle Baku a tricky challenge

23-04-2019 17:15
by Jake Williams-Smith
Vettel: Thread-the-needle Baku a tricky challenge

Sebastian Vettel will be looking to bounce back at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix but the German is under no illusions of the challenge ahead of him.

Vettel has been put under serious pressure from his new Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc in all three races so far, with team orders coming to his rescue in two of those.

Questions over whether or not Ferrari has made the right decision in backing Vettel over the younger driver in Leclerc have been rife in the week since the Chinese Grand Prix and the four-time world champion will look to silence those critics when F1 arrives in Baku.

In the Ferrari team preview ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Vettel explained just how difficult teams have it finding the correct balance for the car on the ultra-fast street circuit.

“This six-kilometre circuit has the longest straight on the calendar, 2.2 kilometres, where we reach 360 kph before the very heavy braking for the first slow left-hand turn,” he explained.

“The steep climb past the old city walls is only seven metres wide, which feels very tight in a Formula One car – you feel like you are threading a needle. There isn´t enough space for two cars here so you have to agree on the right of way between you!

“A big challenge at Baku is to find the right wing level to get good grip for the slow corners but also to be fast enough on the straights where we spend a lot of time at full throttle. It’s not an easy compromise.”

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