Azerbaijan Grand Prix

The other name of the Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix is the Baku Grand Prix. It is a Formula One race that the FIA holds annually in Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan.

The Azerbaijan F1 first appeared in 2017 and is an exciting event on the Formula One calendar. This article looks closely at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, including its history, track layout, notable moments, and future prospects.

In this article, we discuss the following.

History of the F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

The Azerbaijan F1 has excited fans since it was first introduced in 2017. The race runs yearly apart from 2020 when they canceled it due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Azerbaijan Grand Prix

The Azerbaijan F1 was first held in 2017, making it one of the newest races on the Formula One calendar. The race was first called the European Grand Prix and was held on the streets of Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan.

Daniel Ricciardo won the first race in 2017. He narrowly beat Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas to the finish line.

Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2018

Lewis Hamiton Wins Azerbaijan Grand Prix

In 2018, the FIA changed the name to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and it has since become a fixture on the Formula One calendar.

The most memorable moment of the 2018 race came on lap 20. The Red Bull Racing drivers, Ricciardo, and his teammate Max Verstappen collided while fighting for position.

The collision led to the retirement of both drivers and the now-famous quote from team boss Christian Horner: “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

Lewis Hamilton won the 2018 race. He used a late-race safety car to overtake race leader Sebastian Vettel.

Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2019

Bottas Wins Azerbaijan Grand Prix

The 2019 race produced one of the most dramatic finishes in recent Formula One history.

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas led the race and with just three laps to go when he suffered a puncture, allowing teammate Lewis Hamilton to take the lead.

However, Hamilton also suffered a puncture on the final lap, which allowed Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc to take the lead.

Leclerc looked set to win the race, but a late-race safety car allowed Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas to overtake him and win.

Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2020

Sadly the FIA canceled the 2020 Azerbaijan F1 due to COVID restrictions.

Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2021

Perez Wins Azerbaijan Grand Prix

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix returned to the F1 racing calendar in 2021 (6 June 2021.)

Both Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen experienced problems during the 51-lap race; Verstappen had a high-speed blowout, forcing him to retire, and Lewis Hamilton made a severe error at the resultant restart.

This turn of events cleared the way for the number 2 Red Bull driver, Sergio Pérez, to win the second Grand Prix of his career, following his only other victory at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel took a welcome second place for his only podium with Aston Martin, which turned was the final podium finish of his career.

Pierre Gasly, driving for Alpha Tauri, managed to come in third place.

After the race, Tyre supplier Pirelli launched an investigation into the tire failures that ended the Verstappen and Lance Stroll races.

Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2022

They held the 2022 Azerbaijan F1 on 12 June 2022. It constituted the eighth race in the 2022 F1 season.

Sergio Pérez took the lead heading into turn 1, beating the pole position driver (Charles Leclerc), who locked up his front left tire.

Carlos Sainz Jr’s car suffered a hydraulics issue forcing him to pull over in the run-off area at turn 4 of lap 9.

This activated the virtual safety car. Most of the grid, including Leclerc, pitted. The Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Pérez chose not to.

Azerbaijan F1 – Max Verstappen Takes The Lead

Max wins Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Verstappen took the lead from Pérez into turn 1 of the 25th lap, and Pérez pitted on lap.

In an unusually slow stop for Red Bull, by the time Sergio exited the pitlane Leclerc had overtaken him.

Verstappen pitted two laps later and kept the lead by undercutting Pérez.

Leclerc’s car started billowing smoke with an engine problem on the main straight, causing his retirement.

Zhou Guanyu driving for Alfa Romei, retired on lap 23 with a hydraulics issue. Kevin Magnussen’s car also had an engine issue resulting in smoke on lap 31.

Magnussen pulled over off the racing line just before turn 15, which caused a virtual safety car. Most of the grid chose to pit for fresher tires.

Tsunoda was shown the black-and-orange flag for a DRS failure.

On lap 44 (which matched his racing number), Lewis Hamilton overtook Pierre Gasly and achieved a welcome fourth position (unusual for Mercedes in 2022.)

Max Verstappen won the race, and Pérez finished second, with an on-form George Russell finishing third for Mercedes.

Gasly came in fifth. Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris, and Esteban Ocon completed the top 10 finishers.

How Many Laps In Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix?

There are 51 laps in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix Circuit length6.003 km (3.730 miles)
In Azerbaijan Grand Prix Race length306.049 km (190.170 miles)

How To Drive The Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix


The Azerbaijan Grand Prix is a special track with some of the most complex corners compared o any of the circuits in the Formula 1 season.

The track is 6,003 kilometers long, and drivers must navigate through 20 corners.

  • The speed on the long street reaches 350 kilometers an hour with the DRS wide open.
  • At around 90 meters before turn1 is a sharp 90-degree left-hander with quite low downforce in the car, making it a difficult braking zone to get right.
  • The car is downshifted from eighth to third gear, and the driver may try to carry the speed out.
  • If drivers overcooks the braking distance, they are forced to bail into the run-off area at the end of the straight.

Azerbaijan F1 – 1st DRS Zone

  • After turn 1, the cars enters the first DRS detection zone.
  • This follows into turn 2, which is also a sharp 90-degree turn to the left.
  • Cars reach 230 – 240 km/h over the next straight.
  • At the end is a 90-degree left-hand turn 3.
  • Very light braking is needed from 70 meters before turning 3.
  • Change gear down to 2nd or 3rd gear for the turn.
  • Turn 4 is a sharp right hander and then the cars accelerate towards turn 5, which is the start of sector 2.
  • Turn six is a right-hand corner leading into a long straight.
  • It’s important to remember while travelling down these long straights, that there’s a lot of spent rubber debris that starts to build up offline, If you’re trying to overtake on the inside, you’re going to really be picking debris on the tires, and that makes it very risky.
  • The straight ends with a sharp turn 7 to the right, and if you end up side by side with another car at the next braking zone, you’re offline, plus you have rubber pickup on the tires.
  • Turn 7 leads to a series of turns 8- 12.
  • Turn 12 leads into the second straight of Sector 2, where speed can be as high as 320 or 330 km/h.
  • At the end of the straight brake gently for turn 13 to the left with a long sweeping turn 14.
  • Turn 15 is a sharp corner to the left that leads into the straight, speeding up to 300km/h.
  • The driver breaks sharply from 90 meters into a tight left-hander of turn 16 and downshifts from eight to second.
  • Turn 17 is a long sweeping right-hander, and then left into turn eighteen and finally turn nineteen.

Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix – 2nd DRS Zone

  • Turn 20 is sweeping right hander that leads into the second DRS detection zone.
  • The final straight runs at a maximum speed of 350km/h.
  • The sequence starts again.

What Time Is The Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2023?

The 2023 race weekend starts on Friday, 28 April. This is the first of a completely new sprint format in the 2023 calendar. Baku GP time follows the schedule below.

What Is The 2023 Baku Schedule?

The F1 Commission meeting held in the week preceding the Azerbaijan Grand Prix authorized the schedule to be substantially changed.

DateEventTime (BST)
Friday 28 AprilPractice 110:30-11:30
Friday 28 AprilQualifying14:00-15:00
Saturday 29 AprilSprint Shootout09:30-10:14
Saturday 29 AprilSprint14:30-15:30
Sunday 30 AprilRace12:00

Friday starts with the first (and only) free practice event of the weekend.

The Friday afternoon is taken up with a qualifying session, which will decide the starting position for the main race on Sunday.

The Sprint Shootout – Saturday’s All New Event

In this format Saturday is a full race day completely independent of the rest of the weekend.

The morning features the new format “sprint shootout” qualifying session which determines the starting position of the afternoon sprint event.

Saturday afternoon is the full sprint event. The eight fastest drivers earn points for the season but the outcome does not impact in the Sunday race in any way.

This is obviously intended to please spectators and viewers, however it is going to be very difficult for the teams, who lose two free practice events.

The new format means that the F1 teams will not be able to gather the data they normally compile for long runs. This will compromise their tire strategies.

Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes trackside engineering director, is not happy when he says that the loss of the extra hour of practice will compromise each of the F1 teams race preparations.

“When you’ve only got FP1, it’s practically impossible to condense all the usual learnings across Friday and Saturday into one session,”

Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes trackside engineering director

The result, while being interesting for fans, may compromise the final car setup’s. The most likely impact in the future is that F1 becomes more about the engineering and pit crews abilities, then about the drivers and cars true capabilities. What do you think? leave a comment below.

How Do You Buy Tickets For The Azerbaijan Grand Prix?

Tickets are available at the official Formula One website – link.

Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix Track Layout

Azerbaijan circuit

They hold the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on the Baku City Circuit.

This is a 6.003 kilometer street circuit that winds through the heart of Baku. The track layout is unique, with high-speed straights and tight, technical corners.

The circuit has 20 turns, with the fastest section being the long straight between turns 16 and 1, which allows drivers to reach speeds of up to 350 km/h. The tightest section of the track is the complex of turns 8, 9, and 10, which require precision driving and careful throttle control.

One of the great features of the Baku City Circuit is the section that passes through the historic Old City of Baku, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This section of the track is narrow and winding, with tight corners and little room for error.

What The Drivers Have To Say About Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Drivers have the following to say about the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

  1. George Russel – It is great for racing but not the best for driving.
  2. Max Verstappen – He can achieve incredible pace in Azerbaijan.
  3. Lewis Hamilton – The 2022 race was the most painful he had ever experienced (the car was at fault)
  4. Sergio Pérez – He can do good business in Azerbaijan.
  5. Charles Leclerc described his “hurt” after an engine blowout forced him to retire from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Future Prospects

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix remains on the Formula One calendar for the foreseeable future, and the 2023 event is no exception.

The race has quickly become one of the most popular events on the calendar, thanks in part to the exciting and unique track layout and the stunning backdrop of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Where Is Azerbaijan Grand Prix?


The street circuit is in Baku, the capital of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan is found at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. The country is part of the South Caucasus region and is bounded by five countries.

  1. The Caspian Sea to the east.
  2.  Russia (Republic of Dagestan) to the north.
  3.  Georgia to the northwest.
  4.  Armenia and Turkey to the west
  5.  Iran to the south.

In 1920, Azerbaijan was invaded by Russia, which used the justification that Russia needed Azerbaijan’s oil. Russia announced the formation of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic on 28 April 1920.

Up to 20,000 Azerbaijani soldiers died resisting the Russian invasion.

Following the politics of glasnost, initiated by Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan wrote and passed the Declaration of Independence on 18 October 1991.

The declaration was affirmed by a nationwide referendum in December 1991. Azerbaijan now celebrates its Independence Day on 18 October.

Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Geography

This impressive country is dominated by three geographic features.

  1. The Caspian Sea, which forms a natural border to the east.
  2. The mountain range of the Greater Caucasus to the north.
  3. The extensive flatlands in the middle of the country.
Greater Caucasus

The result is a beautiful and scenic country that offers an incredible backdrop to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

By Jonny Noble

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Jonny Noble I’m a dedicated F1 Writer – and I’ve Been One for Over Four Decades, I’ve been intimately immersed in the world of Formula One for more than 44 years. That’s longer than most professional commentators can boast! As an independent writer, I offer a unique perspective on the entire F1 landscape, free from biases that might cloud the discussion. We dive deep into the exhilarating, frustrating, and captivating facets of the F1 universe. So, regardless of my amateur status, one thing is undeniable: four decades of dedicated F1 fandom have forged strong opinions worth exploring!

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