Baku, June 17, AZERTAC
The European Grand Prix - the first to be held since Valencia was removed from the calendar in 2012 - will move to a new home this weekend, with the inaugural Baku City Circuit race in Azerbaijan.
A new circuit brings a new challenge for the drivers who have yet to turn a wheel on the track, but that hasn't stopped them from getting plenty of simulator practice. According to Toro Rosso's Carloz Sainz, the circuit reminds him of the famous Macau track.
"I'm really looking forward to this race even if, to be honest, I don't know what to expect! I've driven this track a few times on the sim, but experiencing a new circuit for the first time is always an exciting challenge," he said of the race.
"The first four turns are all 90-degree corners. Then, from Turn 5 onwards, it starts to get very interesting. It reminds me a lot of the Macau circuit: the section from Turn 7 to 12 is very similar to its tight section, while the long straight that goes from the exit of Turn 16 all the way to Turn 1 is very like its straight.
"The top speed here in Baku should be one of the highest of the season and it looks like you are flat out from the exit of Turn 16 all the way to the first corner! I think that the braking at Turn 15 will be tricky – at least it was on the sim!
"I can't say much more as I've never been there. I just hope it's actually as nice as Macau, which I've always regarded as the most iconic track and it would be great for Formula 1 to have a circuit like it."