Like his F1 counterparts, Daniil Kvyat won’t get to drive on the brand new Baku City Circuit street course in Azerbaijan until Friday’s first practice session for the Grand Prix of Europe.
But thanks to computer simulators and research from Scudaria Toro Rosso team engineers, Kvyat has a pretty good idea of what to expect on the new surface and how to attack it.
Kvyat, who is currently 10th in the F1 point standings with 22 points, talked at length about his expectations in the latest preview:
“It’s always interesting to go somewhere new. As it’s a street circuit it will require plenty of work on the pedals and with the steering wheel and that’s always exciting.
“You are looking for new tricks in your driving style on a street circuit, because this type of track means the driver has more freedom in terms of how he approaches the corners, experimenting with different lines.
“I’ve driven the track on the simulator, which can give you a rough idea of what to expect and it helps the engineers come up with a baseline set-up, but there is no substitute for driving it for real.
“From the sim, the first thing that stands out when you look at the Baku circuit layout is the long straight that goes from Turn 16 to Turn 1. The start of the lap consists of four 90-degree corners and after that it gets very exciting: we drive through the city’s historic center, which looks like being a very tight section, where we will need to be very precise.
“There’s another fast section through turns 13, 14 and 15 and I think the braking into Turn 15 will be quite tricky. We will see when we get there! After that you arrive at Turn 16, a medium-speed 90-degree turn, and you don’t brake again until you reach the first corner.
“This track reminds me a bit of the Valencia street circuit. It will definitely be an interesting challenge that I’m ready for! I expect there will be a lot of Russian fans making the trip to Baku and I will have plenty of support from the crowd. It’s going to be cool.”