Magnussen hoping for more 'extra opportunity' in Baku

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Kevin Magnussen hopes that next weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix will live up to its reputation for throwing up a few surprises on race day as the Haas driver aims to take advantage of any "extra opportunity" that may come his way.

Past editions of the event in Baku have rarely been boring thanks to the street circuit's demanding characteristics that leave little margin for error around its 6.003 km layout.

Races along the shores of the Caspian Sea have often been blown wide open by incidents, crashes, or safety cars.

Lance Stroll scored his maiden podium in F1 in Azerbaijan in 2017, while last year, reigning world champion Max Verstappen looked set to enjoy a dominant win until a unfortunate puncture and crash reset proceedings in favour of championship rival Lewis Hamilton.

But a blunder by the seven-time world champion on the race's restart handed a second career win to Red Bull's Sergio Perez.

"Baku is a lovely track, very unique with long straights and all the slow corners – I’m looking forward to it," said Magnussen who failed to see the checkered flag last time out in Monaco.

"There’s always a lot of action in Baku – there’s a high risk of going off and having yellow flags, safety cars etc.

"Historically, there’s been a lot of safety cars and red flags. It always feels like there is extra opportunity in Baku than perhaps the average race."

Magnussen is hoping to rejoin the fight in F1's upper midfield in Baku where the track's long straight should cater to the qualities of his Vf-22's Ferrari power unit.

"I hope it’s going to be good – long straights, we’ve got a good engine from Ferrari so I’m not anticipating any problems," he added.

"It’s a power-centric track with all the long straights there and power is very important."

F1's last round in Monaco was unfortunately a costly affair for Haas, with Mick Schumacher destroying his second chassis of the season.

With team tackling back-to-back races in Azerbaijan and in Canada, Haas team boss Guenther Steiner is hoping for a drama-free weekend.

"The challenges are that you go from one continent to another, it’s a long trip and the team is working very hard to get it all done," said Steiner.

"It’s just down to having a good team around and working hard but it’s a challenge as they only have a few days to get set-up again and get going again for the next race.

"If you have any damage on the car, it gets more difficult so we’re hoping to not have any damage in Baku."

Formula 1 is considering a regional organization of its calendar for next season, and Steiner gives that plan a thumbs up.

"On the plans for next season, it would be great if we can combine the races regionally," said the Italian.

"I know that Stefano [Domenicali] is working very hard on that one and it will go in the right direction next year."

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