Following a trip to Canada, Formula One returns to Europe this weekend at a brand new street circuit in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The European Grand Prix has been absent from the Formula One calendar since 2012. In its previous guise it was held at the Valencia Street Circuit for five years, having previously been held at the Nurburgring and Jerez amongst other locations.
Fernando Alonso is the most successful current driver at the European Grand Prix – winning twice at the Nurburgring and once in Valencia – so it makes sense that he is the ambassador for the new event in Baku.
Circuit: Baku City Circuit
Number of Laps: 51
Circuit Length: 6.003km
Number of Corners: 20
Lap Record: N/A
Previous European Grand Prix winners still on the grid: 3
Most Successful Team: Ferrari (7 wins)
DRS Zones: 2
Pirelli Tyres: Medium, Soft and Supersoft
At 6.003km the Baku City Circuit is the second longest on the current calendar. Due to the new asphalt teams, drivers and Pirelli are expecting low grip and high track evolution over the course of the weekend. It is a street circuit and takes in many of Baku’s historical sights.
The run to turn one is 2.1km – the longest on the calendar – and there are 20 corners in total on the circuit. Brake wear will be medium, fuel consumption will be high and drivers will change gear approximately 62 times per lap. It is an anti-clockwise circuit and drivers will reach their highest speeds of the year – 340km/h on the pit straight.
It will be a complete unknown for everyone this weekend with a brand new circuit to learn. Lewis Hamilton is the driver with the momentum having won the last two Grand Prix while Nico Rosberg has encountered issues. Rosberg has seen his championship lead slashed to just nine points and will undoubtedly be hoping he can get back on track this weekend. Sebastian Vettel finished second in Canada but another questionable Ferrari strategy move arguably cost him the win. For the second race in a row a different driver scored their first podium of the year. This time it was Valtteri Bottas who finished in third place.
More information about the new race can be found on their website: www.bakucitycircuit.com.