Set in this cosmopolitan oil capital on the Caspian Sea, taking place on the waterfront promenade just steps away from the old city the second round of the 2013 UIM F2 World Championship has really captured the attention of the local Azerbaijan population in a country that is fast becoming one of the sports centres of the world.
One man who all local eyes will be following with keen interest is Jonas Andersson racing for Team Azerbaijan. He’s the first to admit that the pressure will be high after his second place finish at the opening round in Stockholm last month.
“My association with Azerbaijan started back in 2009 when they asked me to put a team together” said Andersson. “It’s taken a while to get a race here but when you look around this beautiful city you know the wait was worth while.”
The twice F2 World Champion (2003, 2004) said that he needed a new challenge, what with his regular raceboat in which races the UIM F1H2O series being away for most of the year.
“The fun in F2 is that there are so many good drivers to race against and that the engines used can’t be modified, so at the end of the day it’s the skill of the driver that really counts.”
His confidence is really high after his podium finish in Sweden racing a brand new Molgaard hull that he’d hardly tested. With the water conditions most likely to favour the Molgaard drivers this weekend a visit to the top step on Sunday evening could be a safe bet.
However well he does this weekend the timetable of UIM circuit races is causing him a few headaches.
“I can’t race in the third round taking place later this month in Brindisi, Italy because I will be in Kiev for F1” admitted Andersson. “It hurts because I really wanted to do the full F2 season, we don’t have many races in either series so it’s just crazy when they clash. Whether I spend my Christmas in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere is still very much undecided.”
One thing that is for certain is that if you want to follow the progress of nineteen drivers all determined to stop the local hero, Jonas Andersson from taking the chequered flag you can watch both the match race on Saturday evening and the Baku Grand Prix via live streaming available at http://f2worldchamp.com/results/live-timing or http://www.idmantv.az/canli/idman-canli.htm