Max Verstappen admits that the street track in Baku is not one of his favorites, but says this is an ideal opportunity to climb the podium for the first time to keep pace with the title fight with Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen took the lead in the championship for the first time in his F1 career after winning Monaco, and Red Bull took the lead in the constructors' standings, which is the first time since 2013 that Red Bull has been the leader in both championships.
The Dutchman finished first or second in all five races this season, and if he wants to continue the series in Azerbaijan, he will have to achieve the best result on that track, since he has not yet stood on the podium in Baku.
“It was a very good weekend and of course I was never on the podium in Monaco so it was really nice to win,” Verstappen said. “Taking the lead in the standings is a good feeling, but we have to be in that place after the last race, that’s all that matters.
This shows that we had a good start to the season, but we have to keep pushing because we still have to be better. ” "So far we've only made small mistakes, nothing big, and that's why we're first at the moment, but we know that can change very quickly."
“The track in Baku is fine, but it’s probably not my favorite if we’re being honest. I’ve never been on a podium on that track so it’s time to change that. We will see how competitive we will be, but I expect Mercedes to return in a strong edition.
Perez on Baku
Perez had a good race in Monaco in which he made his way to fourth place after starting eighth but is aware he needs to be better in qualifying to be more supportive of Verstappen. “I’m really looking forward to Baku and I hope we can combine good qualifiers because our speed in the race has proven to be at the level of the best,” Perez said.
"We have to improve on Saturday and then we should be in a good position." Perez finished on the podium twice in Baku - in 2016 when the race was called the European Grand Prix and in 2018 when it was called the Grand Prix of Azerbaijan.
Both times he drove for the Force India team and finished third. This is also the only track where Perez has more podiums than Verstappen (2: 0), but the Dutchman has a unique opportunity to become the only driver to celebrate on the track with the highest and lowest altitude - in Mexico (2040 m) he celebrated 2017. and 2018, and Baku (-28 m) is the track with the lowest altitude in the F1 calendar.