Jakarta (Rifyu.com) – Formula 1 heads to Azerbaijan this weekend for the fourth straight race on the calendar following a four-week hiatus.
The Baku Circuit will also be the first of six sprint races scheduled for this season, marking the debut of the new sprint format.
Qualification for the main race of Sunday’s Grand Prix will take place Friday while qualifying for the Sprint Shootout will take place on Saturday afternoon local time before resuming the afternoon sprint race later that day.
The Baku Circuit offers its own challenges with its character as a road circuit which has narrow turns, not too high grip and is directly adjacent to the guardrail.
On the one hand, downforce plays an important role so that the car is agile in corners. On the other hand the 2km straight in Baku demands low drag so the right compromise setup will be crucial.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen currently leads the drivers’ standings with 69 points, ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez by 15 points.
Meanwhile, Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso is in third place with 45 points.
Also read: F1 introduces a new format for the Sprint race at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Standard Circuit Profile
Distance of one lap: 6,003km
Lap record: 1:43.009 (Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 2019)
Race distance: 306.049km or 51 laps.
2022 race podium: #1 Max Verstappen (Red Bull), #2 Sergio Perez (Red Bull), #3 George Russell (Mercedes)
Pole position 2022: Leclerc (Ferrari, 1:20,260)
Baku debuted on the F1 calendar in 2016 by hosting the European GP race and since 2017 the race has changed its name to the Azerbaijan GP. The 2020 edition of the race was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far no rider has won the Azerbaijan GP more than once: Nico Rosberg (2016), Daniel Ricciardo (2017), Lewis Hamilton (2018), Valtteri Bottas (2019), Sergio Perez (2021) and Max Verstappen (2022), the FIA notes.
Even though he has never won in Baku, Sebastian Vettel has become the most successful racer on the circuit, in terms of points acquisition, by packing 83 points.
Meanwhile, Perez collected four podiums there. As well as winning in 2021, the Mexican driver finished P3 for Force India in 2016 and 2018 and finished runner-up last year with Red Bull.
Mercedes and Red Bull have both claimed three wins in Baku, but one of the wins for the Silver Arrow came at the 2016 European GP.
Mercedes is also the team with the most points in Baku (158), as well as the most podiums (six) and leads the race for 143 laps.
Despite being the most successful team at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Red Bull has never won pole position there while Mercedes and Ferrari have each started pole position three times in Baku.
Only racers Rosberg and Bottas have so far been able to convert poles into wins in Baku.
Ricciardo won the race in Baku from 10th place in 2017, despite falling down to P17 before fighting back to finish first.
The race in Baku also saw Lance Stroll celebrate his maiden F1 podium following a third-place finish in 2017.
Red Bull had won three races at the start of the season for the first time, asserting their dominance by leading 92 per cent of the races or 151 laps out of 165.
Meanwhile, Aston Martin emerged as a new challenger with three consecutive podium finishes through the appearance of Fernando Alonso.
Also read: Alonso is excited to face Sprint at the Azerbaijan GP
Also read: Leclerc says Ferrari needs careful preparation ahead of the Azerbaijan GP
Reporter: Aditya Eko Sigit Wicaksono
Editor: Junaydi Suswanto
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