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Max Verstappen

Verstappen makes crucial point for Baku Sprint weekend

The first Sprint race weekend of the year will take place in Azerbaijan, with a slightly different format to what has been used previously. Max Verstappen expects it to be a challenge for drivers, as he heads into the event leading the championship.

Max Verstappen expects the Azerbaijan Grand Prix Sprint race to be "slightly chaotic" as Formula 1 trials a new format this weekend.

On Saturday there will be a Sprint Shootout to determine the grid order for the Sprint race, which means just a sole practice session on the Friday and straight into qualifying for the Grand Prix.

It is a unique scenario for the drivers as they have just one hour to sort out their car set-ups for the weekend, at a circuit that requires unique low downforce levels due to how long is spent at full throttle.

"Baku is a challenging track to get right. As it’s a street circuit with long straights, it gives us multiple options on what wings we can run," said Verstappen.

"It’s also the first Sprint race weekend of the season so that might make it slightly chaotic."

The Dutchman points to how important it will be to head into the weekend with a solid practice session under his belt, an area that has thrown up challenges for Red Bull in the first three races.

He added: "We just need to try and get a good start into the weekend with a solid FP1 session. Let’s see what we can do."

No driver has won more than once in Baku, with six different winners from the first six races. Verstappen would be the first if he was able to repeat his win from 2022.

Also interesting:

Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the last week in F1.

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F1 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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