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Baku GP2: Norman Nato fastest in first session on Azerbaijan track - UPDATED

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Baku, June 17, AZERTAC

Championship leader Norman Nato was fastest as the GP2 field christened the Baku street city with their practice session on Friday morning, according to autosport.com.

Nato ultimately set the pace for Racing Engineering with a 1m55.394s, three and a half tenths ahead of rookie Antonio Giovinazzi.

Sergey Sirotkin, Pierre Gasly and Oliver Rowland completed the top five.

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Baku, June 17, AZERTAC

The GP2 Series have starter racing in Baku which hosts 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prıx of Europe.

The Baku City Circuit is 6 Kms in length and is a temporary street circuit around the medieval city of Baku close to the the Caspian Sea. Unusually the circuit is raced in an anti-clockwise direction and comprises 20 turns, 8 turns are right-handed and 12 left-handed. Several of the corners are tight and narrow but there is a 2.2 Kms straight along the Neftchilar Avenue so the setup of the car will be very important. Pirelli will be supplying their P Zero White medium and P Zero Red supersoft compounds to the teams.

At 6,006 meters, the circuit is the second longest this season, only shorter than Spa-Francorchamps.

The city circuit features 20 turns: 8 turns to the right and 12 to the left. Only Singapore and Yas Marina have more corners.

After a long start-finish straight, the drivers encounter six consecutive 90° corners. In Baku, corner 1 will be a good overtaking point.

Corner 7 is a complicated hairpin, where drivers will need to brake into a little zig-zag, before the second section.

Right after turn 8 (7.6m width) will be the most challenging part of the track. It is here that the road narrows significantly and where drivers will have to display skill and experience to make it through this section unfazed.

On a historic day for Azerbaijan, the sun was shining to welcome the teams, drivers, crews and fans as they arrived at Formula 1’s newest street circuit for the opening day of the 2016 F1 Grand Prix of Europe, according to Baku City Circuit official website.

Today’s schedule of events on and off track was incredibly busy and filled with some great moments and the first of many memories for everyone to take home with them when they finally leave Baku City Circuit later this weekend.

The very fortunate three-day ticket holders were able to experience the Pit Lane Walk this afternoon, where they got right up close to the very centre of Formula 1. The Pit Lane Walk offered them the incredible opportunity to step right up to the teams’ garages at the Pit Building and witness first-hand the mechanics and engineers working on the world’s most innovative racing cars at close range.

All entertainment zones - including the F1 Village – located along the Baku Boulevard, from Azneft Square to the Sea Terminal, opened today to all ticketholders

Thousands of F1 fans were welcomed for what should prove to be a weekend of incredible entertainment on and off track. From today onwards, fans will be able to enjoy the many fun events that have been scheduled for them for when they are not being dazzled by the world’s greatest drivers racing this brand new street circuit.

The fan-favourite, GameZone tent has been set up within the F1 Village, where fans can live the dream and race the Sochi Autodrom circuit in one of the amazing simulators, experiencing what it must be like to be a real F1 driver.

For those of a more energetic disposition, there are plenty of exciting attractions on offer, such as a vertical wind tunnel and climbing wall.

A host of entertainers will be on hand at all times to thrill all visitors to the 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe, including the famous Mirror People, Spandy Andy, Titan the Robot, stilt-walkers and many more, while a host of talented street artists will amaze Formula 1 fans with specially made 3D illusions along the promenade.

Additionally, live sport demonstrations will take place along the boulevard all weekend featuring, amongst others, athletes performing stunts on trampolines and a half-pipe skate ramp.

BCC has also made sure to cater its weekend entertainment programme for families with young children. As such, there will be a special children’s driving school for the youngest visitors to the race weekend, where they can learn the rules of the road in a fun, relaxed and inspiring atmosphere. For slightly older children, a specially equipped children’s karting track will allow them to race each other and hone their competitive driving skills.

 

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