AZERBAIJAN: The fourth Azerbaijan Grand Prix is all set to begin with the practice rounds followed by the qualifying round on Saturday. European GP was the first Grand Prix held in Baku City Circuit. Since 2017, the name was changed to Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Azerbaijan Grand Prix had to be canceled. In 2019, Mercedes racing driver Valtteri Bottas won the Grand Prix.
The contrasting street circuit of Baku
Azerbaijan’s Baku city circuit features the most contrasting layout. Mainly a street circuit, it allows the drivers to reach speeds of around 350 km/hr on the straight track running parallel to the shoreline facing the Caspian Sea and slow down to a minimum around the medieval city walls where the track is just seven meters wide.
This provides plenty of overtaking opportunities during the race. The track also have 90 degree turns suits those cars having enough Aero down-force to tackle the slow turns. Interestingly, the Baku City Circuit is the fastest street track on the Formula 1 calendar. One unusual fact about this track is that it is below sea level.
Hermann Tilke, Architect of Baku City Circuit, created a challenging street circuit, in terms of engineering and design that gel well with Baku’s interesting combination of the historic Walled City . It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the new sprawling urban landscape that sun kisses the Caspian sea.
Team Mercedes’s performance
The Monaco Grand Prix was Mercedes’ worst race of the year as they slipped behind several contenders. Lewis Hamilton finished a disappointing seventh in Monte Carlo while Valtteri Bottas was forced to retire from second place due to a technical glitch in his vehicle.
The team Mercedes that right now sit just one point behind Red Bull in the constructors’ championship and Hamilton who sits four behind Verstappen in the drivers look to bounce back in Baku. Mercedes had an excellent track record in Baku where they won three of the four Grand Prix since 2016.
Also Read: Hamilton Wins Bahrain Grand Prix
All teams brace for challenge in Baku
Red Bull will be strong again, while both Ferrari and McLaren have made great progress recently. Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc took Pole position in Monaco recently while Carlos Sainz finished second in the race. McLaren’s Lando Norris too finished on the podium in the same race. The key focus for every team at Baku will be to best exploit the opportunities available to them on those challenging tracks and win the race.
F1’s Baku is the last race before the FIA’s new measuring protocol comes into effect in Formula 1 Emirates Grand Prix De France scheduled at Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet on Sunday, June 20, 2021. So the wing settings could make a significant difference in due course of the event. Baku circuit is known for its unpredictability lets brace our self for the unexpected this weekend.
To catch hold of the latest and related sports news please visit the sports section of Transcontinental times.