Objectives: Aero evaluations, set-up and tyre work.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: The first impressions of Baku are that itís clearly a good track and definitely offers us a good opportunity to be near the front. I like the circuit layout and, apart from an issue with the kerbs in FP1 and FP2 which will hopefully be resolved by tomorrow, I think the organisers have done a very good job.
As an engineer, itís definitely an interesting track because it gives you a compromise, because sector three and sectors one and two have very different requirements. Valtteriís been very happy with the car all day. Thereís more to come from him though, because heís still trying to find his feet around the circuit. Felipe, on the other hand, isnít as happy with the car. We tried some different set-up options, as you sometimes do when you come to a new circuit, and thankfully at the end of the session we found a good direction and he was much happier with the car, which was reflected in his laptimes. We were reasonable on the low and high fuel runs, which suggests we can be competitive in all situations. So Iím very confident that we can have both cars up there at the front tomorrow with very similar laptimes.
Valtteri Bottas: It was an interesting day for me, I really like the track. Itís very demanding, it has some high speed corners and some twisty, more technical areas, so itís definitely one of the most challenging tracks on the calendar, but at the same time itís a lot of fun. Even though I felt good today, we can still improve the car a lot and get more from the tyres. I have high expectations for the weekend, but we have to keep working because at a new track thereís always more to learn, which I enjoy. Itís interesting finding out all the secrets corner by corner. We need to work hard to keep finding more laptime from me and from the car because we have the opportunity for another good result this weekend.
Felipe Massa: It was a very difficult day for me. I was struggling to get the tyres to work and Iíve never had a problem like this so far this season, so itís something that we need to analyse. I couldnít drive the car how I would like because the tyres werenít within the working range, so whenever I was out on track I was struggling massively. All the other drivers were learning a lot and improving every lap but I couldnít. Thereís a lot of work to do before tomorrow, but Iím sure when we have looked at everything and made some changes, Iíll be competitive. Itís a nice track, of course you enjoy it more when everything is working properly, but the track is interesting. Itís not easy to find the lines in certain corners, particularly the slow sections.
Baku City Circuit, Baku 6.001 km / 3.728 miles
Weather Warm and dry Warm and dry
Air & Track Temperatures 26-28įC / 37-43įC 25-26įC / 31-36C
V Bottas, FW38-03, PU106C Hybrid 1:47.096 (3rd) 1:45.764 (4th)
F Massa, FW38-02, PU106C Hybrid 1:49.125 (8th) 1:47.060 (16th)
Quickest Time L. Hamilton (1:46.435) L. Hamilton (1:44.223)