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Preview GP Azerbaijan: All information about the race in Baku

Preview GP Azerbaijan
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D he anniversary race in China wasn't the big hit, what a spectacle and Tension came on. But that shouldn't stop the fans from doing the 1,0001. World Cup run of history in Azerbaijan turn on the TV. The Baku Grand Prix has a built-in action guarantee. In recent years, the public roads on the edge of the Caspian Sea have been haywire.

In the Ferrari warehouse, however, you won't really know whether you should want another chaos race . During the tests in Barcelona and the race in Bahrain, the SF90 proved that there is enough potential in the car to beat Mercedes even under normal conditions. If you want to prevent the deficit in the World Cup from rising above the previous 57 points, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Lecerc must finally use this potential consistently.

In terms of layout, Baku is almost one complete contrast to China. The straight line is significantly longer. Instead of fast corners, there are mainly right-angled corners. Downforce counts significantly less, but air resistance is all the more important. Will that also help Red Bull? China has shown that Honda is still lacking some steam compared to the competition. Team boss Christian Horner would be happy if the drama from last year doesn't repeat itself, when Verstappen and Ricciardo punched each other out of the race.

The track: Baku City Circuit

Der Baku City Circuit is the second longest track on the calendar with a lap distance of 6.003 kilometers. Only Spa-Francorchamps has one more kilometer to offer. In terms of layout, Azerbaijan couldn't be more varied. The never-ending straight in front of Turn 1 is the longest of the year at 1,975 meters. There is also an angled section through the old town of Baku. Here the asphalt strip is partly only 7.5 meters wide. That is also a record.

The street circuit in the 2 million metropolis is 28 meters below sea level. Anyone who thinks that the coast of the Caspian Sea is only flat is wrong. The greatest incline is 12 percent. It goes down with up to 9 percent. The 20 curves are driven through in a counter-clockwise direction. As usual with street circuits, run-off areas are in short supply. Walls and safety fences are always close to the ideal line. At top speeds of over 330 km /h, this is not a safe matter. Baku is the fastestStreet circuit ever.

Fast facts:

  • Track length: 6.003 km
  • Laps: 51
  • Race distance: 306.049 km
  • Length of pit lane: 390 meters
  • Loss of time: approx. 23.4 seconds
  • Longest straight: 1,975 meters (T16 - T1)
  • Top speed: 330 km /h
  • DRS zones: 2 (before T1 and T3)
  • Distance from pole position to T1: 280 meters
  • Fuel consumption: high
  • Brake wear: medium
  • Tires: C2 - C3 - C4
  • Safety car probability: 66 percent
Pirelli is bringing the three middle tire types to Baku.


Because of the long straights, there is a noticeable reduction in downforce. However, very flat wings are also not the right way. The loss of time in the narrow, winding part would simply be too high. In addition, more contact pressure helps to keep the tires in the correct working window. So the engineers have to try during training to find a good compromise between downforce and top speed.

The front wings shouldn't be too flat either. There is a risk of understeering in the angular corners if there is not enough grip when turning. In general, the pilots have to fight with limited liability. The asphalt is laid anew every year in some sections and is therefore more slippery than on permanent courses. This also has an effect on tire wear, which is kept within limits despite the heat and high speeds.


As already mentioned, slightly smaller rear wings are screwed on in Baku than in the first three races of the year. Mercedes had already tried out its new medium downforce tail unit during the test drives in Bahrain. Ferrari also wants to finally come up with new parts. Otherwise, the teams were still reluctant to announce technical innovations. Most engineers have planned the first major expansion phase of the year for the race in Barcelona in two weeks. That is why we are not assuming a fireworks display of technology in Baku.


The favorite question is currently not that easy to answer. It all depends on how Ferrari is presented. The SF90 has a speed advantage on the straights. But just inMercedes was clearly superior to slow corners in Shanghai. We are curious to see whether this familiar picture will also be repeated with the medium downforce setups. We expect Ferrari should at least be closer. Red Bull has recently shown a clear upward trend. If everything goes normally, Max Verstappen should not be able to intervene in the battle between Silver and Red. The power disadvantage on the long straight is just too heavy.

But as is well known, anything can happen in Baku. In 2017, Lance Stroll was surprisingly a Williams driver on the podium. Force India driver Sergio Perez won a trophy last season. The Mexican was already third in Baku in 2016. Perez is the only pilot ever to have made it onto the podium twice in Baku.

And so the teams in midfield have high hopes for a surprise again this year. Number four in the field is currently Renault. However, technical problems with the French factory team already caused four failures this year. In terms of qualifying speed, Haas has presented itself strongly so far. Problems with the tire temperatures in the race prevented the US racing team from achieving better points.

We cannot yet see a clear picture in the midfield. The characteristics of the street circuit could also play into the cards for McLaren and Alfa Romeo. Both cars stood out in the first races because of their good top speeds. On the other hand, we expect Toro Rosso and Racing Point to be a bit behind the points.

This is how the race went last year - Azerbaijan 2018

The winner of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2018 was Lewis Hamilton. It was the eventual world champion's first win of the season. And it came about happily. The decision was made just a few laps before the end. Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen fought several tough duels in the first half of the race. On lap 40, the two Red Bulls finally crashed into each other on the home straight, which triggered the second safety car phase of the race.

Valtteri Bottas was in the lead at the restart and already looked like the sure winner. When the race was released again, Sebastian Vettel first launched an attack. But the Heppenheimer braked himself when attacking the leading Mercedes and fell back to four. Shortly afterwards, Bottas was also hit by bursting the right rear tire. The Finn dropped out, Hamilton inherited the win ahead of Kimi Raikkonen.

Force India created a small sensation with Sergio Perez's podium. He also overtook Vettel in the final sprint. Charles Leclerc was also able to cause a surprise in sixth place. The rookie stayed out of it all, drove a flawless race and ultimately benefited from the chaos on the track. It was the best result of the whole season in Monegas.


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