Lewis Hamilton says Formula 1 drivers “moan too much” about circuit and he is happy with new European Grand Prix track Baku.
Following Friday dominant practice session, an unimpressed Hamilton said: “One thing for sure is that these drivers moan so much about so many things.”
Thursday Jenson Button had voiced his concerns about the scant run-off areas prior to the circuit’s debut, saying: “We have worked so hard on safety, improving circuits all the time, and then we come here and corners like turn three, turn seven, turn 14 don’t have any run-off at all.
Championship leader Nico Rosberg also described the lack of run-off areas as “a little bit of a concern”.
The Friday pace-setter was one of a number of drivers who went off-circuit and brushed the barriers on a day of accidents, incidents and car failures.
Many of the problems were caused by the track’s tricky design and lack of run-off space, but others were due to loose kerbs, most of which had to be re-fixed between sessions.
But Hamilton argued that the circuit’s blemishes should have been welcomed by his peers.
“It is really bumpy down the main straight and you can’t see turn one really well, but that is part of racing,” he said.
“These guys wants it to be smoother than ever with no vibrations and no bumps and take all the character out of these tracks.
“I’m glad this has bumps but l guarantee there will be people saying those things.”
After Friday practice session Rosberg says – “The track is pretty cool; there are just some safety concerns at a few places, like the pit entry, which we have to look into.
“Unfortunately my second session was a bit compromised as I had to stop the car after I lost power.
“We are still investigating. I was a bit surprised by the order. I don’t really know what to expect from Red Bull and Ferrari, as they’ve been our closest rivals so far, so we’ll see.”
Speaking after the end of Friday’s session, Button added: “I spoke with Charlie [Whiting, the FIA race director] this morning and he assured me that all the right checks were done. But driving the circuit isn’t going to change how you feel.”
Daniel Ricciardo involved a most spectacular incident of the day when he crashed at Turn 15 in the opening session, which was red-flagged to clear the track. His Red Bull Racing car was repaired and he rejoined in the second practice
“The track feels as tight as it looks,” Ricciardo told Sky Sports F1.
“It’s cool to have some of these high-speed corners that are on the edge and of course you then have a long straight so you get a bit of a chance to breathe but pretty much all the corners keep you busy and keep you occupied.
“There are no real easy corners on the track which is good in terms of the challenge, definitely.”