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Race information - Europe 2016 // Previewing the brand new race in Baku City Centre

Published by Christine

New races introduced to the F1 calendar of late have all had their own small controversies, and Baku is no different. The track itself however, looks to offer up a unique combination of challenges - intensely long straights, narrow streets, some incredibly twisting sections and a temporary road surface. It's going to be an unusual and difficult weekend for the drivers, which means we get to enjoy seeing them out of their comfort zone.

Event schedule

The momentum remains firmly with Lewis Hamilton, who secured another race victory in Canada to bring his championship challenge much closer to the current leader Nico Rosberg. Nico's post-race videos suggested the frustration is starting to get to him as well, so how they both deal with the challenge of a new venue could be an indicator of things to come.

With so many unknowns, the more experienced drivers might have the edge but the playing field is effectively levelled. Felipe Massa, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso might have more than their fair share of race starts under their belts but rookies Jolyon Palmer, Pascal Wehrlein and more will enjoy everyone having the same learning curve.

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
17 JunFridayFree Practice 110:00
GMT +01:00
13:00
GMT +04:00
Free Practice 214:00
GMT +01:00
17:00
GMT +04:00
18 JunSaturdayFree Practice 311:00
GMT +01:00
14:00
GMT +04:00
Qualifying14:00
GMT +01:00
17:00
GMT +04:00
19 JunSundayGrand Prix14:00
GMT +01:00
17:00
GMT +04:00

Support racing for this event includes GP2 Series.

Expected conditions

The photos we've been seeing from Baku so far show blue skies with barely a cloud in them, and conditions are expected to remain favourable across the course of the weekend. It's hot and humid, compared to the previous two events, but there's no rain on the cards despite the occasional overcast period.

Windy but humid

Baku, Friday

28℃

  • Low 22℃
  • Humidity 64%

Windy but humid

Cloudy and breezy

Baku, Saturday

31℃

  • Low 22℃
  • Humidity 57%

Cloudy and breezy

Partly sunny

Baku, Sunday

32℃

  • Low 23℃
  • Humidity 46%

Partly sunny

Circuit history

Circuit information
CircuitBaku City Circuit
LocationBaku
CountryAzerbaijan
TimezoneGMT +04:00
Race debut2016
Laps51
Length6.003 km
Distance306.049 km
Line offset0.104 km

F1's European Grand Prix usually appears on the calendar as an honorary name due to a race already taking place in the same country on a different date. That's not the case this time, and the 23rd running of the European race moves to Baku, after previously being held at Brands Hatch and Jerez, amongst others. The most recent host was the Valencia Street Circuit, which dropped off the calendar after the 2012 season.

It's a long circuit, just over 6km making it the second longest on the calendar behind Spa-Francorchamps. The road surface has been temporarily tarmaced in places, covering cobbled streets, and the track contains one long straight connecting a series of ninety degree bends with a more circular set of corners at the other end.

Tyre compounds

Drivers completing their track walks have compared the new track to Monaco and Montreal, but this weekend the choice of tyre compounds available have been moved a step harder. The ultrasoft is gone and in its place the white medium compounds are back. Drivers are, naturally, still leaning their choices towards the softer rubber though, with only one or two sets apiece of the mediums.

There are more teammates moving away from each other's choices here, as well. Mercedes have two different strategies going on, as do Williams, Sauber and Haas.

Selected tyre sets per driver
Medium tyreSoft tyreSupersoft tyre
Lewis Hamilton148
Nico Rosberg238
Sebastian Vettel157
Kimi Räikkönen157
Valtteri Bottas247
Felipe Massa157
Daniel Ricciardo148
Max Verstappen148
Nico Hülkenberg247
Sergio Pérez247
Kevin Magnussen148
Jolyon Palmer148
Daniil Kvyat148
Carlos Sainz148
Marcus Ericsson256
Felipe Nasr166
Fernando Alonso157
Jenson Button157
Pascal Wehrlein247
Rio Haryanto247
Romain Grosjean238
Esteban Gutiérrez148

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
DayAttendeeRepresenting
ThursdayFernando AlonsoMcLaren Honda
Valtteri BottasWilliams Martini Racing
Rio HaryantoManor Racing MRT
Nico HülkenbergSahara Force India F1 Team
Carlos Sainz JrScuderia Toro Rosso
Sebastian VettelScuderia Ferrari
FridayRobert BoccafogliPirelli Tyre S.p.A
Éric BoullierMcLaren Honda
Gene HaasHaas F1 Team
Frederic VasseurRenault Sport F1 Team
Claire WilliamsWilliams Martini Racing
Toto WolffMercedes AMG Petronas 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
NamePosition
Derek DalyBorn in Ireland, but now living in Indianapolis in the States, Daly had a five year Formula One career spanning 1978 through to the early eighties. Results were modest, with just a handful of championship points secured here and there, but Daly ended his F1 career with the much-loved Williams team. Since then, he's driven in several other series including IndyCar and sportscars, as well as adding to the coverage of race broadcasters in the US.
Gerd EnnserMember of the DSMB's Executive Committee for Automobile Sport, and a Formula One and DTM steward.
Vincenzo SpanoPresident of the Sporting Commission of the Automobile and Touring Club of Venezuela.

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