Formula 1

Azerbaijan Grand Prix

The Formula One season heads to Baku for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the Baku City Circuit after a year away in 2020. And entering Azerbaijan this week we see a team other than Mercedes leading the championship for the first time since the German Grand Prix in 2018.   

The street circuit in Baku was designed to be the fastest street course on the calendar.   The track has a narrow run and at 6.003km/ it is the 2nd longest track of the season behind Spa. At its narrowest spot the track shrinks to 7.6 meters wide–25 feet.  The circuit offers a high speed long 2.1 km/1.4 mile straight along the esplanade, along with the 90 degree corners associated with street circuits.  Azerbaijan encourages overtaking as with ultra-high speeds on the 2.1km pit straight, on which drivers spend over 20 seconds at full throttle. 

Despite being a city street circuit, passing seems to be quite capable in Baku. The circuit has ranked first in on track passes in 2017 and 2018 with 42 overtakes in 2017 and 50 in 2018.  The 2016 version saw 62 on track overtakes. Technically it can be tricky to find the proper setup with long high speed straight and very tight slow corners. Because Baku is a street circuit tightly enclosed by buildings, there are many areas of lights and shade, making track temperatures even harder to assess. Being a street circuit the track will start off very green and evolve throughout the weekend as rubber is laid down. Baku has been described by drivers in the past as having the complexity of Monaco with the speed of Monza.

Speed Points:

  • This is the 4th running of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, in 2016 it was the European Grand Prix.
  • Baku Street Circuit is the second longest on the calendar, about 1 km shorter than Spa and about 100m longer than Silverstone.
  • At its lowest point on the start-finish straight, the Baku City Circuit is some 24m below mean sea level, making it the lowest point on Earth to host a grand prix
  • Gusting winds in the “City of Winds” can make the setup tricky
  • Sebastian Vettel is the only current driver on the grid who has started all four races in Baku from the first two rows
  • Only three teams have led a lap here:  Mercedes 153, Ferrari 33 and Red Bull 18 
  • Mercedes are the only team that has finished on the podium in all four races here.
  • The Azerbaijan Grand Prix was the most overtaking-friendly race of 2017 and 2018 with 50 passes in 2018 and 42 of the 2017 season’s 435 successful flying lap overtaking manoeuvres. 
  • A Honda powered team is on top of the standings for the first time since Ayrton Senna and McLaren won the 1991 titles.
  • Sergio Perez has finished 4th or 5th in all but-one race in 2021.
  • Lewis Hamilton’s P7 in Monaco was only his 2nd time finishing outside the top 6 since the beginning of 2020.
  • Valtteri Bottas has 2 retirements in his last 4 starts. Lewis Hamilton has 0 retirements in his last 54 starts
  • Daniel Ricciardo has finished in the top-6 in 11 of the last 16 races.
  • Lewis Hamilton has scored in 54-consecutive starts
  • Mercedes has 71 front-row lockouts in the last 173 Grand Prix
  • Lewis Hamilton has scored in 152 of his last 161 races
  • Lando Norris has been in the top-5 in five of his last six races

Tires:

Baku is the longest and also the fastest street circuit on the Formula 1 calendar, thanks to some lengthy straights that form the majority of the 6.003-kilometre track: the second longest of the year after Spa. However, while the speeds are high, the track is narrow – and that combination has caused a few incidents in the past.The softest tyres in the Pirelli Formula 1 range have been selected at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix for the first time: C3 as the P Zero White hard, C4 as the P Zero Yellow medium, and C5 as the P Zero Red soft. Notably, this is a step softer than 2019 (the last time that the race was run) and the same nomination as Monaco. The track surface on the Baku street circuit is one of the less aggressive in terms of asphalt roughness and does not take a lot of energy out of the tyres, making the softest compounds in the range an optimal choice.

MIN Tire PSI: 20.0 psi in front, 19.0 psi in rear

EOS Camber Limit: -3.50° in front -2.00° in the rear.  

Azerbaijan GP Quick Facts: 

Tire Allocations: C3 (white), C4 (yellow) and C5 (red)

Location:  Baku City Circuit, Street Circuit.  20 turns (Baku, Azerbaijan) 

Lap Length:6.003 km/3.730 mi

Race Length: 51 laps

Fastest Lap: Charles Leclerc 2019 in a Ferrari 1:43.009 

Qualifying Record: Valtteri Bottas, 2019 in a Mercedes 1:40.495 

Winners in Azerbaijan: 

YearDriverConstructorCircuit
2019Valtteri BottasMercedesBaku City Circuit
2018Lewis HamiltonMercedesBaku City Circuit
2017Daniel RicciardoRed BullBaku City Circuit
2016Nico RosbergMercedesBaku City Circuit

Driver Standings

DRIVERPointsWinsPOLESTop 5Top 10
1Max Verstappen1052055
2Lewis Hamilton1013045
3Lando Norris560045
4Valtteri Bottas470033
5Sergio Pérez440044
6Charles Leclerc400024
7Carlos Sainz380024
8Daniel Ricciardo240004
9Pierre Gasly160004
10Esteban Ocon120004
11Sebastian Vettel100011
12Lance Stroll90003
13Fernando Alonso50002
14Yuki Tsunoda20001
15Antonio Giovinazzi10001
16Kimi Räikkönen00000
George Russell00000
Nicholas Latifi00000
Mick Schumacher00000
Nikita Mazepin00000

Constructors Standings

POSTeamPoints
1Red Bull149
2Mercedes148
3McLaren80
4Ferrari78
5Aston Martin19
6AlphaTauri18
7Alpine17
8Alfa Romeo1
9Williams0
10Haas0

Fastest Laps

Grand PrixDriverTeamTimeLap
BahrainValtteri BottasMercedes1:32.09056
Emilia-RomagnaLewis HamiltonMercedes1:16.70260
PortugalValtteri BottasMercedes1:19.86565
SpainMax VerstappenRed Bull1:18.14962
MonacoLewis HamiltonMercedes1:12.90969

Fastest Pit Stops

Grand PrixTeamDriverFastest Stop
BahrainRed BullMax Verstappen1.93s
Emilia-RomagnaMercedesValtteri Bottas2.24s
PortugalRed BullMax Verstappen1.98s
SpainAston MartinLance Stroll2.16s
MonacoRed BullMax Verstappen2.02s