Ricciardo, Verstappen excited by new Baku challenge

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Red Bull Racing drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen are relishing the opportunity to race at a new circuit when Formula 1 ventures to Azerbaijan for the first time later this month.

The European Grand Prix returns to the calendar for the first time since 2012, being held on a fast street circuit in Baku on June 19.

The first test run was completed in a GP3 car last week, with an onboard video being released by the Baku City Circuit on Friday.

“I’m excited to go there because it’s a new track so it’s going to be a challenge for everyone, but the fact that it’s a street circuit is really cool,” Ricciardo said.

“I’m pretty optimistic that the city itself will be quite good fun. I’ve seen some pictures of the city and it looks cool – it sort of reminds me of Budapest a little bit, so let’s see, I’m pretty excited to go there.”

“After Canada we’re heading to Baku. My dad has raced there back in 2012 [in a GT race] and I’ve watched the races online and some parts of the track are pretty similar,” Verstappen added.

“He was pretty positive about the whole city in general saying it’s a nice place to go so I’m looking forward to it.

“The track looks very interesting because it has such a long straight for a street circuit which will be difficult for the wing setting because on a street circuit you want lots of downforce but with such a long straight you have to find a good compromise.

“Baku is new for everyone. You start from zero which I always like, and it’s always good to discover new countries and new tracks.”