Renault F1 Team’s Test Driver Jack Aitken and Academy members Guanyu Zhou and Anthoine Hubert head to Baku for the second round of the 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship this weekend.
Supporting the Formula 1 SOCAR Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the trio are targeting strong results at the Baku City Circuit.
Jack finished second in a frenetic Feature Race in Baku twelve months ago – made even sweeter after stalling on the grid - and is aiming to go one better in 2019.
“I’m really looking forward to returning to the track where I had my first podium in Formula 2 last year with second in the Feature Race,” said Jack.
“It was a crazy race after stalling on the grid and falling to the back of the field, but we stayed patient and had a clean race from then on to the flag.
“It’s an extremely challenging track and the racing is always great. I hope we’ll have the pace to be fighting for one better this year!”
Jack tested the Renault R.S.19 during the official in-season Formula 1 test after Bahrain, before jumping behind the wheel of the Renault-powered E20 Formula 1 car as part of a demonstration run to promote June’s French Grand Prix.
Rookie Zhou is also feeling optimistic ahead of the race weekend following a strong performance in Bahrain where he picked up a tenth place (and Fastest Lap) and a fourth place on debut.
Zhou was with the team for the Chinese Grand Prix where he took part in two demonstration runs in the Renault-powered E20 Formula 1 car. The first was in the Xintiandi District at the Formula 1 Fan Festival before he took on the Shanghai International Circuit as a curtain raiser to the 1,000th Grand Prix.
He said: “Shanghai was an insane weekend. It was my home Grand Prix and to be with the team for that was amazing and really special.
“Now, we move onto Baku and we’re fully focused on preparing for that race weekend. It’s another new track for me, and it’s a street circuit which means learning it won’t be easy. We have 40 minutes to learn in practice ahead of qualifying, but I’ll take all the experience learnt from Bahrain in order to have a successful weekend.”
Reigning GP3 champion Anthoine also enjoyed a bright Formula 2 debut in Bahrain as he aims for another solid showing on the Baku streets.
“It’s another new track to learn for me and I’m still gaining experience in Formula 2, so it’s going to be a challenging weekend,” said the Arden driver.
“Bahrain went well, much better than expected, but it won’t be easy to reproduce these great results. Nevertheless, Baku is a circuit which looks amazing. I’ve always loved street circuits, so I’m looking forward to going there and giving it a go!”
Race 1 distance: 174.087km
Race 2 distance: 126.063km