Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Race information - Azerbaijan 2017 - Back to Baku for another twisting street circuit event

Published by Christine

Much of the attention in recent days has been on the FIA's calendar announcement for next season, with a bumper schedule groaning at the seams. Before we get there, though, we've got the small matter of the rest of this year to finish. For the 2017 race, Baku has become the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, rather than the European race as it was last year. The street circuit didn't have the best of debuts so here's hoping there is more coming from the race this weekend.

Event schedule

Hamilton had a very comfortable race in Canada, winning from pole after leading every single lap. That allowed him to close the gap on championship leader Sebastian Vettel once again, and let Mercedes back in front of Ferrari in the team standings. Meanwhile, a lot of the focus during the latter stages of the race fell on Force India, as there was a potential podium on offer but no team orders came from the pit wall.

Elsewhere, McLaren are still looking for that elusive first point, now the only team without a single point on the board. Sauber are just ahead of them, and must now be reeling from the fact that Monisha Kaltenborn has stepped down as team principal. She'll be missed in the paddock and from the team.

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
23 JunFridayFree Practice 110:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +04:00
Free Practice 214:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +04:00
24 JunSaturdayFree Practice 311:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +04:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +04:00
25 JunSundayGrand Prix14:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +04:00

Support racing for this event includes FIA Formula 2.

Expected conditions

It's been hot and sunny in the UK, conditions we aren't necessarily used to on our rainy island, but hey, at least there's a race this weekend to escape the blaring sun, right? According to the forecasts, Baku is set for plenty of sunshine and soaring temperatures which will make the race that little bit more difficult for drivers in the cars.

Sunny and clear

Baku, Friday


  • Low 19℃
  • Humidity 60%

Sunny and clear

Warm and sunny

Baku, Saturday


  • Low 21℃
  • Humidity 59%

Warm and sunny

Sunny and pleasant

Baku, Sunday


  • Low 21℃
  • Humidity 54%

Sunny and pleasant

Circuit history

Circuit information
CircuitBaku City Circuit
TimezoneGMT +04:00
Race debut2016
Length6.003 km
Distance306.049 km
Line offset0.104 km

The Baku circuit presents something of an unusual challenge - it's a street circuit, long and cramped, but there are also sections that widen out and lead into high speed sectors. It can be tough on brakes, and with high temperatures expected, there will certainly be a lot of focus on cooling the cars as best as possible.

There have been a few tweaks to the track following last year's debut event, all of which are aimed at making it safer. Several of the walls have been moved further back from the track, there have been improvements to the TecPro barriers, and extensions to barriers in certain areas. There has also been some kerb painting to make them more visible, alongside better access for marshals to get on track quickly and extricate cars sooner.

With only one race to look at, statistics aren't going to help us much, but it's worth noting that Williams claimed Valtteri Bottas posted the fastest speeds ever in an F1 race weekend as he headed down the main straight. One-stopping was the strategy of choice, but crucially, qualifying wasn't the be all and end all of the finishing results.

Results for the 2016 European Grand Prix
Free Practice 1Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:46.435
Free Practice 2Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:44.223
Free Practice 3Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:44.352
QualifyingNico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:42.758
Grand PrixNico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:32:52.366
Fastest lapNico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:46.485

Tyre compounds

After several weeks of using the softest compounds, Pirelli are moving one step harder for the Baku circuit. The mediums make another appearance - their fourth outing of the year. It's a narrow circuit, twisting in places, with a long lap that will put the pressure on drivers with regards to when to make their pit stops.

Head of racing Mario Isola says: "Following Monaco and Montreal, Baku is the third non-permanent, low-grip venue in succession, but it has a very different character. The lap is a lot faster, with more energy going through the tyres, and track temperatures could be very high, like last year.

Selected tyre sets per driver
Medium tyreSoft tyreSupersoft tyre
Lewis Hamilton148
Valtteri Bottas148
Daniel Ricciardo238
Max Verstappen238
Sebastian Vettel148
Kimi Räikkönen148
Sergio Pérez139
Esteban Ocon139
Felipe Massa238
Lance Stroll148
Fernando Alonso1210
Stoffel Vandoorne1210
Carlos Sainz139
Daniil Kvyat139
Romain Grosjean148
Kevin Magnussen148
Nico Hülkenberg148
Jolyon Palmer148
Pascal Wehrlein139
Marcus Ericsson238

Press conference schedule

Official press conferences are organised by the FIA and happen four times during the weekend. The qualifying and post race press conferences will take place after the television unilateral interviews.

Press Conference Schedule
ThursdayValtteri BottasMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
Romain GrosjeanHaas F1 Team
Daniil KvyatScuderia Toro Rosso
Esteban OconSahara Force India F1 Team
Kimi RäikkönenScuderia Ferrari
Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren Honda
FridayCyril AbiteboulRenault Sport F1 Team
Éric BoullierMcLaren Honda
Jock ClearScuderia Ferrari
Robert FernleySahara Force India F1 Team
Rob SmedleyWilliams Martini Racing
Beat ZehnderSauber F1 Team
SaturdayThree fastest drivers
SundayFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process includes a former F1 driver to offer added insight. These stewards are overseeing the weekend's action.

FIA stewards
Paul GutjahrPresident of the FIA Hill Climb Commission, board member and President of Auto Sport Suisse SARL
Vincenzo SpanoPresident of the Sporting Commission of the Automobile and Touring Club of Venezuela.
Danny SullivanFormer Formula One driver, Indy 500 winner and CART champion.

All content in the series Azerbaijan 2017