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Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2021

Drivers undecided on Turn 8 changes at Baku

Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly have had their say on what to expect from the new Turn 8 at Baku for this weekend's Azerbaijan GP

Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly have opposing views on the new Turn 8 kerb which is expected to see the cars go through the castle section at Baku at a higher speed.

For this year, the normal high kerb at Turn 8 has been replaced with a lower, painted kerb. It's the scene where Leclerc crashed in 2019 during qualifying but the Ferrari driver does not think that the new kerb would have changed the consequences of his accident.

“It’s the same for everyone,” Leclerc told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press. “I don’t think it was the reason for the crash, actually.

"I locked up the front-right on my crash and went into the wall mostly because of this. I don’t think it would have changed much for me whether there was the kerb or not.”

"I think it (the new painted kerb) will be quite a bit quicker there because the car will obviously be jumping a lot less and seeing how straight it is, it’s going to be quite nice so I’m looking forward to that part.”

Gasly thinks the new Turn 8 will have a major impact on how the drivers set up their cars and is currently not a fan of the changes.

"I don't really know why they did it," Gasly told Sky Sports. "It was very tricky before and every time you go into that corner you get an adrenaline rush because when you jumped over the kerb you didn't know how the car would behave.

"There was more risk of a shunt with the kerb. I think now it will be a lot more predictable. It also changes your approach for car setup for the rest of the track so it will definitely have an impact this weekend."

Max Verstappen confirmed that he did not walk the Baku street circuit, continuing his trend of not doing a track walk prior to the on-track action. He revealed that Esteban Ocon advised him of some of the track alterations.

“I can’t be arsed to walk,” Verstappen told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press. “I have a few more minutes in bed and if I want to know the track, I’ll drive my out-lap a bit slower and look around.

“I’ll just brake few metres earlier on the first lap. Everyone, of course, has a different approach. At one point I was like, I just can’t be arsed to walk any more to see it.

"I know the track is going left or right at one point. You have your margins in FP1 or whatever, so you try out the laps you do and you will see where you have to go.”

Minor changes have also been made to the barriers from in the opening five corners.

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

The latest news about the Azerbaijan Grand Prix straight from the Baku City Circuit.

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