Sauber Junior Team is ready for F2 street fight in Azerbaijan


24 April 2019
It’ll be a tricky weekend, it’ll be hard, but I feel quite happy to go there.

“It’ll be a tricky weekend, it’ll be hard, but I feel quite happy to go there.”


Juan Manuel Correa  

The Sauber Junior Team will embark on the next chapter in its 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship journey when the series visits the Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan this weekend (26-28 April).

The brand-new driver development squad, a collaboration between Sauber Motorsport that runs Alfa Romeo Racing in Formula 1 and F2 race winners Charouz Racing System, gained valuable experience as it made its category debut in Bahrain last month.

Sauber Junior Team by Charouz drivers Callum Ilott, a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, and Juan Manuel Correa, Alfa Romeo Racing’s Development Driver, are ready for the challenge that awaits at the unique Baku City Circuit.

The street circuit has hosted the Formula 2 category since 2017 and is renowned for its complex layout that makes finding an optimal set-up a particular test for teams.

The circuit features several medium-speed 90-degree turns, a tight and twisty section through Baku’s Old City, and a full-throttle, two kilometre straight that runs adjacent to the Caspian Sea.

For both Callum and Juan Manuel, this weekend’s F2 event will provide their first experience of the fastest street circuit in world motorsport.

The Baku city streets will open on Friday for a 45-minute F2 practice session, after which a 30-minute qualifying session will determine the grid order for Saturday’s 29-lap Feature Race. Sunday’s 21-lap Sprint Race will conclude the weekend’s action.

Antonin Charouz, Charouz Racing System owner, said: “The first round of the season in Bahrain didn’t return the results we hoped it would but there were some positives that came from our rookie F2 drivers and we’ll be pushing to build on that in Baku. As a team, we have previous experience on this street circuit and I’m hoping that will help us to be in the mix for some good results this weekend.” 

Bob Vavrik, Charouz Racing System Team Principal, said: “As soon as the Sprint Race in Bahrain finished, our attention turned to our preparations for Azerbaijan. We’ve been through all of the data and analysed where we can improve our performance for this weekend. Baku will provide a completely different challenge for Callum and JM and we’re all determined to show an improvement.”

Callum Ilott said: “Bahrain and Baku are very, very different and, in terms of managing our weekend, I’m expecting it to be a lot easier in Azerbaijan. Even though it was tough in Bahrain, there were a lot of things we were able to discover and that we’ve now worked on. That will help massively for the future. We’re pretty happy going into this weekend. I’ve never raced in Baku but I’ve got experience of plenty of other street circuits and it looks like an interesting challenge.”

Juan Manuel Correa said: “It will be a challenging weekend because Baku can be quite chaotic – and actually it will be my first time ever racing on a street circuit! But we’ve had a good preparation, we worked on the points we learned in Bahrain, and I’m curious to see how it goes. It’ll be a tricky weekend, it’ll be hard, but I feel quite happy to go there. Hopefully we can enjoy a smooth event as we want to do a solid job with no mishaps.”

It’ll be a tricky weekend, it’ll be hard, but I feel quite happy to go there.

“It’ll be a tricky weekend, it’ll be hard, but I feel quite happy to go there.”


Juan Manuel Correa  
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