The Azerbaijan GP is coming. Get ready for Round 4 of the 2019 season with our official race preview – think of it as your McLaren encyclopaedia for each race weekend.
Hear from McLaren drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris, get insight from Sporting Director Gil de Ferran, and learn more about the team back in the factory with our Spotlight series.
|Where||Baku City Circuit|
|When||26 - 28 April|
|Start time||16:10 local, 13:10 BST, 14:10 CET|
Carlos Sainz #55
“Baku is one of my favourite circuits on the calendar, it’s an unpredictable track but that’s what makes it so exciting. You can always sense that all drivers look forward to this race, because everyone knows there could be an opportunity for something special.
“Last year I had a great race in Baku finishing fifth. My ambition is always to improve, at every track, every season, so hopefully we'll have a clean race and can perform strongly.
“It’s been a frustrating start to the championship, with too much going on out of my control, but that is also part of racing. I'm determined to keep pushing no matter what and remain patient. Hard work, positive attitude and dedication always pay off.”
Lando Norris #4
“Back to Baku! I had an interesting weekend there last year in F2, but I’m looking forward to running that long straight in an F1 car. It’s an exciting track and I’m hoping it will give me a more exciting race than China, if we’re lucky we’ll have the chance to score some points.
“This street circuit is a little less forgiving than Australia and small mistakes can be punished harshly, so my focus is on avoiding that wherever possible. I want to be fighting for the duration of the race.”
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director
“The city circuit’s mix of 90-degree corners, technical middle sector and long final straight create a unique challenge in Formula 1, and rarely do we see the cars reaching such high speeds on a street circuit. In many respects it is one of the most challenging venues we go to.
“A street race brings that extra degree of uncertainty, so race strategy is also challenging. Our pit-stop performances have been very good this year, so continuing to execute well on both of these fronts is certainly our goal.
“Another circuit, another set of challenges, but the same attitude! We remain calmly focused on doing all that we can, together with Carlos and Lando, to deliver the best possible race weekend and hopefully some points.”
|Race distance||306.049km/190.170 miles|
|Distance to Turn One||202m/0.126 miles|
|Corners||20 (eight right, 12 left)|
|Tyre choice||Hard C2, Medium C3, Soft C4|
Spotlight: Emel Cankaya
The spotlight is rarely shone on the team at the factory – but the contribution is no more and no less important. While a rapid pit-stop, bold overtaking move or decisive strategy call earn the plaudits, successes are just as dependent on engineering an upgrade in record time, manufacturing high-quality components, and carrying out stringent analysis and simulation. Every part of the operation needs to work in harmony to see progress on a race weekend. This is the ultimate team sport.
We are a team together. And these are some of the stories from HQ.
When did you start at McLaren?
I started working in the McLaren Formula 1 team in January 2019. My first impression is very positive. It’s an amazing and fun place to work; walking down the boulevard of the award-winning McLaren Technology Centre every morning is very inspiring, as well as being surrounded by amazing cars and supporting, clever and fun colleagues.
Please can you tell us a summary of your job description?
I'm involved in the aerodynamic development of the car with the main focus being on performance improvement and data analysis. In my daily job, I design parts of the racecar and use simulation tools to visualize how air will flow around the race car.
From this understanding, I refine the designs before they are tested in the wind tunnel. In the wind tunnel we try replicate the aerodynamic environment that the race car experiences whilst driving on the track. This allows my team and I, to evaluate what impact our designs will have on our lap time before building the actual race car.
How do you find working in the STEM industry in which women are underrepresented?
It is no different than when I was in college. I have the same ambition as my colleagues, and we have mutual respect. Our styles can be different sometimes, but this is more an advantage for the company than a disadvantage.
What do you love about your job?
It is fast paced and very challenging. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you are or got interested in F1 after reading this article!
What’s the highlight of your McLaren career so far?
This is difficult to answer since I haven’t been with McLaren for a long time yet. However, I got immediately involved in the launch of MCL34, which was great! Also, already in my second week I had to go to the wind tunnel to start testing. These kind of events indicate that the team invests a lot in me, which made me feel very welcomed from the beginning.
What is your earliest McLaren memory?
When I visited MTC for the first time for my interview. I remember that I already found the building fascinating from the moment I entered the white corridors, got in to the elevator made out of glass, and saw the boulevard on my way to the reception on the first floor. It even got more fascination after the interview, when I got a tour along the boulevard and later on in the mission control room.