The Baku track is the fastest street circuit on the calendar. 6.003 kilometres in length, it first appeared as the European GP in 2016. As from the following year, it changed its name to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The track features long straights and right-angle turns. That makes engine power a key requirement, while drivers have to brush the walls in search of a quick lap, using every inch of the track. One conundrum is how to keep the brakes and tyres up to temperature, as they cool down more than usual on the long straights. There’s also a tighter section around turns 8,9,10 and 11, including the incredibly narrow section around the ancient castle, where good traction is the main requirement.
This corner is slightly downhill and drivers have to brake on the turn, therefore it’s easy to get it wrong, missing the apex and therefore losing time.
A very long straight
The map of the circuit is a bit deceptive. It lists turns 17, 18, 19 and 20, but the section is actually taken flat out and with the DRS activated, cars can reach 350 km/h as they head for the best overtaking opportunity at the first corner.