Formula One has been stationed in Baku, Azerbaijan where the fourth round of the 2019 FIA Formula One Championship takes place. Despite still being a relatively new location on the calendar, Baku has already made its name since it joined the sport.R a c i n g
Vettel – the fatest race lap has gone to a different driver at each race in Baku. Nico Rosberg set the fastest lap in 2016, Sebastian Vettel in the following year and Valtteri Bottas in last year’s event. The official track record was set by Vettel who clocked in a time of 1m43.441 two years ago.
6.003km – The Baku City Circuit is the second longest race track on the current Formula One calendar, only Spa-Franchorchamps lies ahead of it.
Eighteen – Lance Stroll was 18 years and 239 days old when he claimed his first podium finish during the 2017 grand prix. The Canadian was running second in the race, but he was then beaten by Valtteri Bottas in the end.
Formula Two – The Baku City Circuit plays host to the second round of the 2019 Formula 2 Championship. The field has had enough time to recharge its batteries since the first race weekend held in Bahrain took place four weeks ago. The series’ tyre supplier Pirelli provides the F2 drivers with the Medium and Supersoft compounds this weekend.
Three – Only three teams led laps in Baku. Mercedes is at the top of this list with 102 laps, followed by Ferrari with 33 and Red Bull with 18.
Once – So far, Baku has hosted F1 race on three occasions. The race has been won by different drivers each time. Nico Rosberg won the inaugural event in 2016, Daniel Ricciardo emerged victorious in 2017 while Lewis Hamilton took the victory last year after inheriting the lead three laps from finish when his team-mate Valtteri Bottas suffered a puncture.
Winds – The Baku City Circuit is known for its eventful races – that is what has made the still fresh addition to the race calendar one of the most spectacular races in its short history in the sport. Baku has the name of the City of Winds because it is windy throughout most of the year. According to the Azerbaijani mythology and beliefs, the constant winds are related to the struggle of Good and Evil.
0.22s / 0.14s – Those are the time loss through the tyre degradation. Pirelli predicts that the soft compound would lose 0.22s per lap while the mediums will slower by 0.14s with every lap passing. Of course, no one except Pirelli and the teams will be able to observe these time losses because drivers do not push all through their stints, they only do so in the dying minutes of their stints.
33 per cent – Albeit not representative due to the short history of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but it is interesting that only one third of the races was won by a driver starting from the pole position. It was Nico Rosberg who took the victory after sealing the first starting position the day before.
Safety Car – Bernd Maylander often makes an appearance with his Safety Car during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The former touring car driver had to drive on to the track twice last year.
97.4 – 103.2kg – Among drivers who completed the whole race distance in the 2018 Azerbaijan GP, the driver who used the least amount of fuel across the race distance, needed 97.4kg of fuel to complete the race. 103.2kg was the maximum amount of fuel needed for completing the Grand Prix.
Two – Sergio Perez is the only driver in the entire field to have secured more than one podium finishes in Baku. The Mexican grabbed third place in the inaugural year of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2016 when it was held under the name of the European Grand Prix. The 29-year-old driver stood on the rostrum last year as well when he fought his way up to the third place in the late drama of the race.C u l t u r e
Seven – Shops are open seven days a week and generally open around at 10 a.m. and close around 10 p.m. Offices and banks are generally open between 9 a.m and 6 p.m. from Monday until Friday.
Sunrise – Baku is the first European city which the sun rises in.
Caspian Sea – Baku lies on the eastern side of Azerbaijan and is surrounded by the Caspian Sea which is the world’s largest lake. At 28 metres below sea level, Baku is the lowest lying national capital in the world.
3 million – Baku is home to 3 million people which makes it the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region.
Neft Dashari – The city is famous for the unique Oil Rocks which is the largest inhabited and oldest ossfhore oil city in the world, lying in the middle of the Caspian Sea.
City of Contrasts’ - Baku earned this title with having perfectly combined the beauty and intrigue of its ancient past with its ambition to establish itself as a modern European city featuring award winning architecture, business centres and skyscrapers.
Tipping – It is not expected across Azerbaijan but is common in Baku. Occasionally a service charge is included onthe bill, particularly in more established hotels and restaurants.
Manat – The national currency is the Azerbaijani Manat. The Manat notes come in 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 denominations. Interestingly, it is not possible to exchange other currency into Manat in countries other than Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijani – That is how the official language of Azerbaijan is called. However, many people speak also Russian, Turkish and English.