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Formula One 2019: 5 things to know about Azerbaijan’s Baku Race Track

Its Formula One week and this weekend before the engines start guzzling, here are 5 things that you need to know about Baku City Circuit.

Abhranil Roy
Last updated: 24.05.2021
Azerbaijan’s Baku Race Track | Sports Social Blog

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Its Formula One week and this weekend, the world will keep its eyes peeled on Baku Street Track in Azerbaijan. It is the fourth race of the season but the final one before the European circuit-season kicks off, and it could not have come at a better time for us petrol-heads.

Mercedes has been the dominant force so far, locking the front grid thanks to the dual combination of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. Ferrari has been left biting the dust on all three occasions this season, and they will be determined to make up for lost ground in Azerbaijan. Hamilton is, of course, the defending champion in Baku and the Britisher will be reluctant to let go off the early-season stranglehold that he has developed over the driver’s table top-spot.


Before the chequered flag is waved and the engines start guzzling on Sunday the 28th of April, here are the 5 things that you need to know about the Baku City Circuit:

5. It has a stunning view

Despite being the newest race on the circuit, Baku offers the best of Azerbaijan, sometimes known as the “Paris of the East”.

Located bam in the middle of the city, the track almost segregates the old and the new halves of the city in two. As you speed along it, you loop the Government House of Baku, then move on to the Old City and finally finish at the seafront.

Traditional shop owners, local restaurateurs, and even the historic Flame Towers look upon the cars as they whizz past the track. To any first time explorer, Baku and F1 serves a cocktail that is impossible to resist.

4. It has an unusually long straight

Burnt asphalt and speeds of up to 365 kmph is the name of the game in Baku, which has a straight section of 2.2 kilometers between Turn 16 and Turn 1.Drivers usually go berserk in this stretch, pinning their right foot on the gas and trying to outmaneuver each other with nothing but pure speed.

Of course, the presence of this section means that the DRS system is deployed with full gusto here before the tight 90 degree corners come in and present a veritable opportunity for the cars to overtake each other.

3. Baku has the tightest turns in the racing season

Being a Hermann Tilke track, Baku presents extremely tight and angled corners as well as sequential left-right-left corners. Things get especially tight at the walls of the Old Town, which actually protect a UNESCO World Heritage site.

At turns 8,9 and 10, the track is just 7.6 meters wide, thus requiring the utmost precision from drivers who are veering away at speeds up of 250kmph. There is usually no space left for other cars to pass if one hits the wall, thus making the race challenging and exciting and an absolute treat to the eyes.

2. It is an engineer’s nightmare

Flat straight-ups, hairpin turns, and sequential corners: at over 6 km long and with 20 corners, Baku presents nightmares to engineers who are never quite sure of what to focus on - low downforce and higher speeds work for some, while more wind angle and better maneuverability work for others.

Either way, one thing is for certain, there has never been a perfect car for Baku and it is unlikely that there ever will be one. Thus, the engineers are often in a dilemma and that only makes the race all the more exciting.

1.    The races are extremely unpredictable

With all its unique features, Baku has been one of the most unpredictable circuits in the F1 stable since its first race in 2016. Sergio Perez’s shocking podium finishes in 2016 and 2018 as well as Lance Stroll’s third-place finish in 2017 guarantees Baku’s unpredictability is based on firm grounds.

Collisions, drama, tension, recovery drives, accidents make Baku a nail-biting commodity for everyone.

Let the racing begin!

Also Read | F1 vs F2 vs F3

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