• Chris Kato

The Complete A-Z Guide to the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

The twists and turns of Baku's City Streets Should Provide a Thrilling Challenge for F1's new era...

Welcome to your A-Z Guide to the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. From one of the shortest tracks on the calendar to one of the longest, the Baku City Circuit is the setting for round number 8 of the championship. The streets of Baku have given us some great moments in recent years and the current championship picture should make this weekend's race a must watch. As usual, all of your necessary weekend information can be found in this video as well as some of the latest news heading into the weekend. If we happen to miss any breaking news, leave us a comment down below!

Track Facts

The Baku City Circuit is one of the most unique F1 tracks in recent memory. It is not your typical street circuit as Azerbaijan has some of the highest top speeds on the calendar. The circuit is best described as half Monaco, and half Monza in its characteristics. The 6KM anti-clockwise circuit is one of the longest this season with the back straight being 2.2KM long on its own. Despite the narrow corners, the optimal car setup around Baku is lower downforce in order to maximize the top speed in Sectors 1 and 3. The long lap and long straights at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix venue make it the busiest lap of the year for the gearbox, with drivers upshifting and downshifting gears 70 times. Despite it being a street track, Baku actually provides drivers with plenty of overtaking opportunities which leads to exciting and dramatic races. Their is on average 40 overtakes per race in Baku with 65% of those being aided by DRS.

Circuit History

The Baku City Circuit is one of F1's newer generation tracks and has found a solid place on the calendar since 2016. It debuted as the European Grand Prix but has since been renamed to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. In its 5 Grand Prix history, only two constructor's have been able to win and they are Mercedes and Red Bull with Mercedes winning 60% of the races in Azerbaijan. Because of the crazy nature of this race, no current driver has won more than once in Baku with Perez, Bottas, Hamilton, and Ricciardo all winning once in these streets. Qualifying on this street circuit is not as important as Monaco for example as drivers have been able to win from up and down the grid. 60% of drivers have won from pole while another 40% have been victorious from outside of the top 3 and those are Daniel Ricciardo from 10th and Sergio Perez from 7th. In Baku, the safety is typically never far away with a 60% chance of seeing a safety car deployment this Sunday,

Grand Prix Schedule

Take note of the session start times for local Azerbaijan time and other zones around the world.

Weekend Notes

Let's start by looking at the predicted weather forecast for Baku.

Weather - We're on for a clear and dry weekend but one thing to watch out for is the higher winds expected on Friday and Saturday. Wind gusts around these streets can always make things tricky for the drivers with the balance changing as wind gusts increase.

Tyres - Moving onto tyres, Pirelli bring the softest compounds with the C3, C4, and C5 tyres. Tyre wear is low around Baku because the average steer angle for the corners is so low. This means tyre warmup is quite the challenge which is why drivers will rely more on brake heat to keep the tyres warm.

Williams Get Fined - Williams become the first team to violate the sports financial regulations known as the budget cap. The team notified the FIA a few months ago they would not meet the deadline to submit their paperwork by March 31st. The FIA has subsequently fined them $25,000 (£19,960).

Alonso Sets A Record - When lights go out on Sunday in Baku, Fernando Alonso will surpass Michael Schumacher as having the longest career in Formula 1 history. Alonso will have competed in F1 for 21 years, 3 months, and 1 day after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

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