Bottas, the fastest in Baku
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F1

The ultimate Baku F1 circuit guide

Baku plays host to the 8th round of the 2022 Formula 1 Season. Here’s all you need to know about the 5th running of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
By Red Bull France / Kelly Denison
3 min readPublished on
  • Construction: 2016
  • First race in F1: 2016
  • Location: Baku (Azerbaïdjan)
  • Length: 6,003 kilometres
  • Number of turns: 20
  • Most wins: Nico Rosberg, Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas (1)
  • Lap record: Valtteri Bottas (1 min 40 s)
Fresh from Monaco, Formula 1 moves to the beautiful country of Azerbaijan on the weekend of June 10th. Although the city circuit in Baku has only hosted a handful of Formula 1 races -- including the first under the name of the European Grand Prix, in 2016 -- the Azerbaijan Grand Prix has quickly established itself as a fixture on the calendar.
The Baku street circuit which hosts the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan was designed around the historical center of the city.

The route of Baku follows the city walls

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The fastest urban route

Herman Tilke, the revered visionary behind many F1 courses, designed the Baku track around the historic center of the city. The 6km course is the second-longest track on the calendar after Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
The 2200-metre-long main straight along the Baku shoreline is perfect for slipstreaming, with cars able to run three abreast. On the straight, it's not uncommon for racers to reach speeds that exceed 340 km/h. In 2016, Valterri Bottas broke the Formula 1 speed record, clocking in at 378 km/h, and in 2017, Daniel Ricciardo managed to overtake three drivers on this famous straight line to victory.
It was on this straight line of the Baku street circuit that F1 driver Valtteri Bottas broke the speed record during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2016.

2200 meter straight line

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And the most technical

From the blazing speed of the straightaway, the route dives into tight turns in the Baku Old Quarter, where the medieval city walls are a severe threat to the drivers. Add in the circuit's 20 bends — 4 of which are at right angles — and you have one of the most technical circuits in the Formula 1 world championship.
Pierre Gasly

Pierre Gasly

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“Baku is a great circuit,” said Alpha Tauri driver Pierre Gasly. “It's a street circuit, so the risks are doubled, and everything is more complicated because of the proximity to the walls. It's not a circuit where you can be aggressive, take the outside lane on a turn, touch the grass, and have a little dust on the tires”, continues the Frenchman.
If you go a few centimeters too wide, you go straight into the wall and it's over.
Even though the circuit was initially criticized ahead of its first race in 2016 for its unconventional look, Baku has offered some of the most exciting races in recent years. A quasi “underdog track”, Baku has been one of the only races where drivers who were not part of the top three were able to climb onto the podium — Rosberg, Stroll, Perez, and Vettel.
Herman Tilke was indeed correct when he said “It will be one of the most exciting events of the season. It is not comparable to a permanent circuit, but it remains unique even compared to other tracks in town.”
Bottas, the fastest in Baku

Bottas, the fastest in Baku

© XPB Images

Last year Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton — two championship contenders — experienced difficulties during the race. These troubles paved the way for Sergio Perez to cross the line first. What likely drama will unfold this year in Azerbaijan?

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