Fernando Alonso Explains Why ‘Extreme’ Azerbaijan GP is ‘Very Difficult as a Driver’

Published 06/02/2021, 3:06 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 19, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


This weekend, Fernando Alonso and the Alpine F1 team head to Azerbaijan for the Grand Prix. In light of this, Alonso spoke about the track’s nature and his expectations for the race. He pretty much loves the track and relishes the challenge that it presents him and the other drivers.

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Alonso said, “I think Baku is an extreme circuit. Its layout has a lot of slow speed corners and then the longest straight of the championship.

“That combination is very difficult to set up the car. Very difficult as a driver to completely change your way of perceiving things.”

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He declared that for at least 2 minutes, all that the driver sees are walls and buildings. Suddenly, things transition to nearly 350kph. According to him, it is one of the circuits that produces more adrenalin than any other circuit.

What to expect from Fernando Alonso at Azerbaijan?

Admittedly, the Alpine team is far from being a front-runner. However, it does have a fairly strong presence in the midfield, and Alonso can enjoy the slipstream battles.

It is also worth noting that McLaren and Ferrari seem to be a little out of reach. So Alpine will likely have to battle with AlphaTauri and Aston Martin in the midfield.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 20, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during practice REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

However, that isn’t to say that the French outfit can’t spring a surprise. All that they need to do is find the right balance between downforce and low drag.

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This is because the long straights will be a big boon with low drag. On the other end of the scale, the tight and twisty sections of the track will require a lot of downforce.

Fernando Alonso has performed well in the past at Baku. In fact, he has a highest finish of 7th place in 2018, which was a chaotic race. He got involved in some early incidents and picked up two punctures.

Despite having two wheels on his wagon, he made it back to the pit lane and somehow wrestled the damaged car to 7th.

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Dhruv George

11663 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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