Max Verstappen believes the track surface at the Baku City Circuit is too bumpy and needs to be smoothened before F1 action returns to Azerbaijan next year.
The Red Bull driver made the comments after winning the 2022 F1 Azerbaijan GP ahead of teammate Sergio Perez and Mercedes' George Russell.
The complaints about the track being bumpy come as no surprise as the 51-lap race is held on a temporary street circuit which is normally a busy road for the thoroughfare of the capital city, Baku.
It is, however, the second-fastest venue on the current F1 calendar, after the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Saudi Arabia. Last weekend saw drivers consistently hit speeds of around 350km/h while struggling with visibility and porpoising caused by the return of ground effect to F1.
In an interview following the race, Max Verstappen cited the lower ride height and stiffer suspension of the cars designed under the new regulations as a big factor for the bumps on the road feeling more pronounced. The Dutchman said:
“I think, it’s getting a bit bumpy in some places, especially now with the new cars being so stiff and low to the ground. The main straight is way too bumpy, we have to really try and find a bit of a line. So it would be nice if that could be resurfaced for next year. But overall, I think it’s a special track. The second sector, between the castle bit, it’s quite unique, I would say.”
"Now it's more or less evened out with the bad luck" - Max Verstappen on his improved fortunes after initial struggles in 2022
Max Verstappen feels his bout of bad luck at the start of the ongoing season has been canceled out after his fifth win of the year at the 2022 F1 Azerbaijan GP.
The 24-year-old's title challenge looked to be in tatters after he was compelled to retire in two of the opening three rounds of the season. Since then, the Dutchman has had the rub of the green as Red Bull has dominated to win all five rounds between Imola and Azerbaijan.
Max Verstappen's good fortune has coincided with rotten luck for Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who picked up two DNFs in Barcelona and Baku, while also losing out on a near-certain win in Monaco following a botched strategy call from his team. This has allowed Verstappen to overhaul Leclerc's lead in the World Drivers' Championship standings after trailing for the opening five races.
Speaking at the post-race press conference at the Baku City Circuit, Verstappen was asked about the turn of events in his favor since he retired in Australia. The defending world champion said:
“I mean, of course, we had our misfortune in the beginning of the year, so we knew that we had to play a bit of catch-up, but then of course it seems like now it’s more or less evened out with the bad luck and you have to score points every single weekend if you want to really fight for the championship. Everyone knows that, everyone of course tries that, but it’s not always that easy.”
Max Verstappen has 150 points to his name as we approach the 2022 F1 Canadian GP weekend while Red Bull leads the World Constructors' Championship standings with 279 points.