Stoffel Vandoorne's Baku diary - Saturday

Stoffel Vandoorne's Baku diary - Saturday

Saturday was quite a difficult day for us at the Baku World Challenge, it was not easy. My teammate Frederic Vervisch had a little touch with the wall in Free Practice 1, which was not his fault because a car crashed in front of him and he had nowhere to go, so we lost a little bit of track time because of that. So after the car was checked out we were running a little bit behind from then on. But then qualifying was all right and we ended in 8th position, but it could have been worse as we struggled a little bit during both free practice sessions. But all in all, it has been positive. Hopefully today we can solve a little bit our issues and make up some places and get a good result

Our run plan had to change right at the beginning because it did not go as planned because of the track changes but this is the same for everybody and everyone had a run plan that they had to adapt but we will see how it goes today, the team analyzed what happened on Saturday overnight and we will see what comes of our preparations with the Boutsen Ginion McLaren MP4-12c on Sunday.

I think the key will be to stay out of trouble in this event. It is going to be a tough race, everybody is going to go for it from the start, which is normal. But I think that if we stay out of trouble during the first laps and during the whole race, it keeps the concentration high and we can get very focused and gain some momentum. Street races are never easy, you need to focus on every corner, so I think that it will be a tough event and staying out of trouble and of course the walls will be a big achievement during the race.

Regarding overtaking I think all drivers know all the different parts of the track where we can or cannot overtake and then it will just be a matter of setting up for a place where you can. It is going to be a tough event, because there is quite a variation in pace between drivers some times but we will see how it goes.

We saw already yesterday evening during the second part of the qualifying when the sun went down and it was getting cold, the tyres were taking a long time to get up to temperature so they will be the key during the race. I think everybody can expect a Safety Car in the early stages. We have to manage the situation and be clever.

I practiced quite a lot for driver changes but during the race it is always different than during free practice or just practicing without driving. So, that is going to be a first experience for me but I am quite confident that we can do a good job in the pit stops and the Boutsen Ginion team is very efficient. For sure, it is going to be important that the pit stop is good because we can take track positions with it.

I am here for a one-off so I am just going to go and try to do everything we can to win. We have nothing to lose and I am very much looking forward to racing at the Baku World Challenge by Aztexnika.