Interesting facts before the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Formula One is about to complete the last station of sequence of flyaway races which is hosted by Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku. The Baku City Circuit welcomes the F1 field for the third time over its history.

However, this is the second time the race is called Azerbaijan Grand Prix since the circuit made its debut under the name ‘European Grand Prix' in 2016. Situated on the western edge of the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan’s capital enjoys an original and unique appearance that seamlessly blends the ancient with the modern; factors which have contributed to some nicknaming the city ‘the Paris of the East’.


Nico Rosberg won the inaugural Baku race while Daniel Ricciardo crossed the finish line first in 2017 after the race leader Lewis Hamilton was hit by headrest woes in the race which forced him to pit to allow his crew to fix it. The Australian’s win came as a surprise as he started the race only from tenth position following a crash in the qualifying session.

Brendon Hartley, Pierre Gasly, Sergey Sirotkin and Charles Leclerc are making their first F1 visit to the circuit, though Hartley is the only circuit debutant. The other three have all appeared in junior categories and all have featured on the podium

The track

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix was the most overtaking-friendly race of 2017, with 42 of the season’s 435 successful flying lap overtaking manoeuvres. This is the consequence of the astonishingly long 2.1km pit straight on which drivers spend over 20 seconds at full throttle.

Baku is an unusual street track. It features tight corners, unforgiving barriers and long straights which makes it the fastest street circuit on the calendar. Teams have to find the best compromise while setting up the car because the long straights require the least amount of drag while the slow-speed sections welcome a high-downforce setup with very predictable rear end.

The track has a length of 6.003km, made up from 20 corners. Drivers have to circle around the track 51 times, covering a total race distance of 306.051km. The lap record was set by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who clocked a time of 1:43.441 in last year’s Grand Prix.

Both the fuel consumption and the brake energy are high. The heaviest braking event is the section into the first corner which also offers the best overtaking opportunity. Interestingly, drivers have to complete their overtaking manoeuvres not too early because it would give rivals the chance to pick up the toe and make a response with an immediate re-pass.

The country

The climate of Azerbaijan can be classified as Dfb climate; a humid snow climate with the warmest month under 22°C, four or more months above 10°C and the coldest month lower than -3°C.

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix is the only race held below sea-level. The first known fireplace and construction in human history, which is dated back from 700,000 to 500,000 years ago, was discovered in Azikh Cave, the largest cave in Azerbaijan.

The country is rich in oil. The Nobel family of Norway, who created the much lauded Nobel prizes, acquired much of its wealth from Azerbaijan's oil industry in the 19th century.
The public transport is presented by Baku (Azerbaijan) metro and numer¬ous minibuses.

The most well-known of Azerbaijan’s volcanoes is Yanar Dag, also known as ‘Burning Mountain’.

Along with the Azen newspapers and magazines, there are periodicals in Russian and turkish and a lot of Russian publica¬tions. TV channels in Azerbaijan run on three languages, namely, Azeri, Russian, and Turkish.

Tea is the most popular drink in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is the first Muslim country to have operas and theater plays.

Soup, often made with meat and sheep fat, is considered to be a staple of Azerbaijani cuisine.

Azeri culture is known for its history of folklore and superstition.