The Formula One juggernaut arrives at the Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan for the second race at the medieval city surrounded by the Caspian Sea on one side and the Caucasus mountains on the other side. Nico Rosberg won the maiden race held at Baku, but is not around to defend his title after announcing his retirement at the end of last season.
Mercedes will come to Baku as the favourites after their strong showing in Canadian Grand Prix two weeks back with Ferrari likely to be their closest challengers. The layout of the track will also suit the Mercedes powered cars due to the presence of the longest straight on the Formula One calendar.
Lewis Hamilton struggled at this circuit last season, but will be hoping for a better outing this time around as he chases Sebastian Vettel in the title race. The Briton is 12-points behind the Ferrari driver. Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen have largely played a secondary role in the title battle, but will be eager to join the battle at the front after finding form in recent races.
Red Bull Racing have been the best of the rest since the start of the season, but the nature of the track could see them being challenged by the likes of Williams and Force India, who are powered by Mercedes power units.
Clear weather is expected all through the weekend and the tyre compounds being used are not similar to Monaco and Canada – with the medium tyre replacing the ultra-soft compound. Mercedes struggled with the softest compound on the streets of Monte Carlo, but showed that they had made a step forward in Canada in terms of generating tyre temperature and with the ultra softs not being used in Baku they are likely to get back to their best in terms of performance.
Where to watch live
The first practice session of the European Grand Prix starts at 10am BST, with Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports F1 HD providing live coverage in the UK.
Real-time internet updates are available on the Live Timing section of the sport's official website.
Live coverage of the second practice session starts at 2pm BST.
- Circuit name: Baku City Circuit
- First F1 Race: 2016
- Circuit length: 6.003kms
- Number of laps: 51
- Race distance: 306.049kms
- Lap record: 1'46:485 [Nico Rosberg]
- Most wins: Nico Rosberg (1)
- 2016 winner: Nico Rosberg
- 2016 pole: Nico Rosberg
Drivers' Championship standings
|5||DANIEL RICCIARDO||AUS||RED BULL RACING||67|
|6||MAX VERSTAPPEN||NED||RED BULL RACING||45|
|7||SERGIO PEREZ||MEX||FORCE INDIA||44|
|8||ESTEBAN OCON||FRA||FORCE INDIA||27|
|9||CARLOS SAINZ||ESP||TORO ROSSO||25|
|3||RED BULL RACING||112|