Tilke's latest work was set to be the theatre of a crash frenzy, with narrow corners screaming 'no room for mistakes'. As many drivers pointed out, the Azerbaijani track is a mixture of Monte Carlo and Monza. tending to the Macau layout, which is an extremely difficult drive.
Massive mayhem was expected at turn one but nothing happened and left a bittersweet flavour shared by every spectator. The race in Baku saw only 3 retirements, due to mechanical issues and no crashes were on the board.
Despite the race being dull at times, every driver's performance displayed the praiseworthy high level pursued by Formula 1 for a very long time.
Daniel Ricciardo crashed at turn 15 during FP1 on Friday, while Carlos Sainz made the same - only lighter - mistake later. Other significant incidents were seen at turn 1 throughout the races in GP2, with Safety car being called on track more than just once. After that, all drivers took notes of those mistakes and did their best to try not to be caught at fault
Seamlessly learning and being cautious were key to do well in Baku, in order to build a strong and constructive approach to such new track.
From the rookie to the McLaren duo - which is the oldest - everyone regardless of the experience gave a positive and great contribution to prove all safety doubters wrong and provided us with a top class motorsport occurrence, a fundamental factor leading to a continuous success of the event.
At the press conference on Thursday, there was a healthy dispute between world champions Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso on the least amount of laps to get used to the track properly. Although the Spaniard stumbled across a gearbox problem yesterday, he has constantly showed off his skills and put his McLaren-Honda up to P4 at the end of FP1. For Vettel it took longer but came up with a successful P2. Different approaches from opposite personalities, converging in a great and demanding work deserving of the Formula 1 name.
by Beatrice Zamuner