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Last Updated Jun 08, 2022, 9:34 AM

Hamilton will be back strong in Baku, says Fittipaldi

The 2022 Formula 1 season is heating up with Red Bull now piling the pressure on Ferrari. As we head to Baku this weekend, we had a chat with two-time F1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi who gave his thoughts for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Baku has seen a few surprises when it comes to podiums - Lance Stroll in 2017, Checo with Force India in 2018 and Pierre Gasly last year. Who do you think can cause a surprise in 2022?

“There are always some surprises in Baku.” 

“It's a very special race track. Because it has a tremendous straight-line speed, and then very hard braking. It's a special track.” 

“Last year, they (Red Bull) had tire problems with Verstappen.” 

“It's a street circuit. Not very forgiving. There's not much room for mistakes on that one. It's very, very fast.” 

“Haas could be a surprise in my opinion. (Kevin) Magnussen knows the track very well. Their car is running really strong. They have all the performance they need from the Ferrari engine. They should be very fast on the long straight. The surprise for me could definitely be Haas in the Baku Grand Prix this year.” 

Do you see Ferrari coming back to win in Baku or do you expect Red Bull to continue their dominance?

“I would say that Ferrari has been dominating in terms of performance. Ferrari has been the fastest and strongest team this year, but Red Bull has been more consistent throughout the races so far.” 

“Ferrari had engine problems in the last race. They are ready to win now. They are strong. In my opinion, they are still the number one contender for the World Championship. More than Red Bull.”

“Red Bull is going fast, Max Verstappen is doing really well. Sergio "Checo" Pérez is surprising us. He is in a very strong position. He just signed a new contract for a minimum of two years. and he is running strong now. His position is going to put tremendous pressure on Max Verstappen. He's going to be a contender for the World Championship alongside Max now. He did a very good race in Monaco. I was very impressed with that.” 

Which team do you think needs to improve the most this weekend at Baku?

“McLaren will get better. Since they arrived in Europe, they had more time to develop the car; taking it to the next level. That could be good.”

“McLaren is going to do well.”

“George Russell is definitely going to do well. Mercedes is improving quite a lot. For some reason, Lewis Hamilton's car has been doing well for the last two Grands Prix, and I think he'll continue to be stronger and come back strong in Baku.” 

“It will be great to see George Russell challenge Lewis Hamilton throughout the whole year. All the racing fans are watching that closely. Lewis is going to come strong now. It will be great to see.” 

“Sergio Pérez challenging Max Verstappen and George Russell challenging Lewis Hamilton. It's definitely interesting for the racing fans throughout the world.”

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Photo by Jacob Capener

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