After a rare round without any degradation in Monte Carlo, David Beckmann is expecting a much different experience around the streets of Baku, explaining that he will be leaning on his knowledge of the tyres from Round 1 in Bahrain.
Monaco and Baku may both be street tracks, but for Beckman that’s where the similarities end, with the Charouz Racing System driver anticipating a much better event for himself after the disappointment of Round 2.
A promising debut in Bahrain, where he finished on the podium, was followed up by a pointless round in Monaco, but the German highlighted the long-straights and slow-speed corners of the circuit in Azerbaijan as reasons why he expects to be back in the points this weekend.
“The type of corners here are like Sochi and I really enjoyed those,” explained Beckmann. “They are 80–90-degree corners and I really enjoy them. I don’t know why exactly, but my driving style seems to suit them.
“The car will be quite ‘oversteery’ due to the high deg on the rear tyres because you are constantly decelerating and then accelerating at the slow corners, and that is a lot for the rear tyres to cope with. I think it will suit me really well here. I like it when the car is a bit nervous on the rear. I find that helps you on the street circuits like this. You have to be confident on the brakes.
“For sure, there will be a lot of deg. Up until now, my only real experience of managing the F2 tyres was in Bahrain and I was quite happy with it. During the long-runs in the Barcelona tests too, it felt good.”
Having never previously raced in Baku, Beckmann has been putting in the hours on the simulator, as well as looking back on previous Formula 2 races in Azerbaijan. Handed medium and supersoft tyres, just like the class of 2019 were, the German is predicting a similar outcome, even on the 18-inch Pirellis.
“You saw in the last event here that the drivers who started on the supersoft in the Feature Race did six laps on them and then boxed because it is really difficult to hold your tyres here,” Beckmann continued. “It’s a really soft tyre and a long circuit, so they are going through a lot in one lap.
“There may be a little less degradation than in 2019, but there will still be quite a lot. I think the medium tyre will be okay, but the supersoft will see a lot of deg.”
It isn’t only the track that Beckmann expects to be more suited to, but the car as well, saying that he and the team have learned from Monaco and improved his machinery.
“We made a bit of a mistake with the car between practice and quali in terms of the balance,” he explained. “After that, I didn’t feel the confidence so much. If you have a good balance, then you feel the confidence better, and this is important around a street circuit.
“I think that it is good that we have learned from that. For sure, it will be more suited to me this weekend.”