Robert Shwartzman says he’s not overly worried about a frustrating Qualifying performance, with plenty of opportunities to overtake from P10 in the Feature Race on top of starting from reverse grid pole in Saturday’s Sprint Race 1.

The Russian is far from the first driver to talk up the overtaking possibilities around the Baku City Circuit and said that while he was left disappointed by Qualifying, there was plenty to still be gained from all three races.

“P10 is not the greatest position to start, but I think in Baku there is a good chance to recover,” said Shwartzman. “This is a track where you can overtake. We are starting Race 1 from P1 tomorrow, so let’s hope that it goes well, and then we can see what happens down the line.

“We will be positive, but I really hope that we have a good race pace, which is the most important thing. The preparation will be the same and the routine will be as normal for tomorrow. We will try and have a good start, have good pace and deliver a result.”

Shwartzman will start Sprint Race 1 from reverse grid pole
Shwartzman will start Sprint Race 1 from reverse grid pole

Shwartzman explained that it was a combination of different factors that led to his struggles in the session, but he is confident that his team will be able to get on top of them ahead of the first Sprint Race.

“The session didn't go as we wanted,” he continued. “I struggled a bit to find the limit with the car, and generally I wasn't spot on with the feeling of the car. It felt a bit weird to drive. I also made some mistakes on the lap and that definitely compromised the lap time.

“It is something that we need to look at with the engineers and the team. We need to analyse the data and look at what have I done wrong and what we could have done better. It’s a work in progress, but Qualifying is over now, and we’ll focus on the race.”