Lewis Hamilton is hoping to put his past struggles at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix behind him in Baku this weekend.

The two-time defending Formula One world champion did emerge victorious at this race in 2018, but only after Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas suffered a puncture in the closing stages.

In his previous two visits to the Baku City Circuit, Hamilton could only manage fifth, and the standings leader – winner of the last two meetings in Bahrain and China – knows he can ill-afford another poor outing on Sunday with Bottas just six points adrift.


"It's a really great track and it's one that I've honestly struggled at a little bit, particularly last year," Hamilton said.

"It will be interesting, and I'm going there with a mindset that I've got to try and improve my previous years' performance.

"I was fortunate to get the win there last year but I wasn't quick enough really through the weekend.

"So that's a place I expect Valtteri to be quick and I expect the Ferraris to be particularly quick."

And Mercedes chief Toto Wolff expects Bottas to be eager for a reversal of his poor fortune 12 months ago.

"Valtteri drove a strong race last year but a puncture denied him a well-deserved victory shortly before the end," Wolff said.

"He's had a good start to this season and I'm sure he will be hungry to go for the points he didn't get last year."