1083rd F1 GRAND PRIX | 6th AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX | 7th F1 GRAND PRIX AT BAKU CITY CIRCUIT
2022 POLESITTER: CHARLES LECLERC | 2022 WINNER: MAX VERSTAPPEN
Baku City Circuit has gained a reputation for producing unpredictable and action-packed races since joining the calendar in 2016. The 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix is set to take place on April 28-30.
2023 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX: WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Friday 28th April
Free Practice 1 – 1:30pm Local Time/ 10:30am UK Time
Qualifying – 5:00pm Local Time/ 2:00pm UK Time
Saturday 29th April
Sprint Shootout – 12:30pm Local Time/ 9:30am UK Time
Sprint – 5:30pm Local Time/ 2:30pm UK Time
Sunday 30th April
The 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – 3:00pm Local Time/ 12:00pm UK Time
2023 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX: WEEKEND MILESTONES
- This will be the first Baku City Circuit race weekend at which neither Sebastian Vettel nor Daniel Ricciardo will be on the grid. Vettel has completed every Grand Prix racing lap held so far at the circuit, meaning the first lap of Sunday’s Grand Prix will be the first that he does not complete at the track.
- The 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix will be the first race of the 2023 season at which a Saturday Sprint race will be held. It will be the seventh F1 Sprint since the format was first used at the 2021 British Grand Prix.
- Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen have the opportunity to become the first repeat winner at Baku City Circuit at the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. If the circuit has a seventh consecutive different winner, it will be only eighth circuit to not crown a repeat winner in its first seven appearances on the calendar.
- Mercedes and Red Bull are currently tied for most victories at Baku City Circuit, with three apiece. Either team could set a new outright record at the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 2023 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX
WHAT HAS CHANGED AT THE CIRCUIT SINCE LAST YEAR?
There have been minor changes at Baku City Circuit since the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. New asphalt has been laid between Turns 16 and 13, there are new vehicle opening points at the pit entrance and pit exit, and there is a new curved concrete wall on the right hand side of Turn 11.
HOW MANY DRS ZONES WILL THERE BE AT THE 2023 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX?
There will be two DRS zones at the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The activation zones are located after Turn 2 and on the main straight after Turn 20. There were also two DRS zones at last year’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, however the DRS zone on the main straight has been shortened in 2023.
BAKU CITY CIRCUIT TRACK GUIDE
The oil-rich country of Azerbaijan became the newest fixture on the F1 calendar in 2016. The Baku City circuit, the second longest track of the season, combines twisting sections reminiscent of Monaco with flat-out straights like those at Monza.
Baku itself is no stranger to motorsport, with the Baku World Challenge having been held on a street circuit between 2012 and 2014. Azerbaijan wanted a prestigious event to add to its list of honours, and followed in the footsteps of similarly oil-rich countries Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, and enticed Formula 1 to the area.
In December 2013, Bernie Ecclestone announced that a deal had been signed for F1 to visit the country for the first time, with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix to be added to the Formula 1 calendar from 2015 onwards. Ecclestone then suggested that the event would replace the Korean Grand Prix, with the organisers of that event being in breach of their contract. In July 2014, it was announced that the Baku race would in fact début in 2016.
WHO WILL BE IN THE 2023 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX PRESS CONFERENCES?
The world’s media will have the opportunity to talk to the drivers on Friday morning before the opening practice session. The drivers appearing in the press conference are:
Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
Lando Norris (McLaren)
Sergio Pérez (Red Bull)
Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Alex Albon (Williams)
The media will also be talking to prominent members of Formula 1’s teams on Saturday morning. The team members who will appear in the press conference are Marco Perrone (AlphaTauri), Tom McCullough (Aston Martin), James Allison (Mercedes), Alessandro Alunni Bravi (Alfa Romeo), Frédéric Vasseur (Ferrari) and James Vowles (Williams).
WHO WILL BE THE RACE DIRECTOR AT THE 2023 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX?
Niels Wittich will be the race director at the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
WHO WILL BE THE DRIVER STEWARD AT THE 2023 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX?
Each weekend a former Formula 1 driver, or a driver from another prominent series of motorsport, joins the stewards to help judge any incidents from a drivers’ perspective. The Driver Steward this weekend is Enrique Bernoldi.
WHICH TYRE COMPOUNDS WILL BE USED AT THE 2023 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX?
Pirelli will supply the C3, C4 and C5 tyre compounds at the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. It’s the same compounds used as last year.
In 2023, there are six compounds which Pirelli can nominate for use over a race weekend. In addition to the previous C1-C5 offering, the C0 tyre has been introduced. C0 is the equivalent of 2022’s C1 tyre, while the 2023 C1 tyre slots between the 2022 C1 and C2 equivalents.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME AT THE AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX?
A double retirement for Ferrari eased Red Bull’s route to victory at the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, as Max Verstappen became Baku City Circuit’s sixth different winner.
Drivers encountered the usual scrapes and bumps through Free Practice in Azerbaijan, while some teams suffered with excessive porpoising on Baku City Circuit’s long main straight. Lance Stroll was first to find the barriers in qualifying, but was able to escape with only front wing damage. However, two minutes later, another scrape of the walls for Stroll brought out the red flags. Amid the expected chaos in qualifying at Baku, Charles Leclerc became the first driver to take multiple poles at the track.
Sergio Perez started alongside Leclerc on the front row on Sunday and it was the Mexican who led after Turn 1. Nine laps into the race, Carlos Sainz came to a halt at Turn 4. With one Ferrari out of the race, the other Ferrari pitted under Virtual Safety Car conditions.
Sebastian Vettel was the man on the move in the early stages, getting by Lewis Hamilton in the pit-lane as a result of the Mercedes driver being stuck behind his team-mate as it was time for him to pit. Vettel then made a move on Esteban Ocon but out-braked himself, losing two positions in the process. Vettel made a move on Ocon stick later on in the race.
Perez continued to lead until his team-mate passed him at Turn 1 on Lap 15. When the Red Bulls pitted, Leclerc’s earlier stop meant that the Ferrari acquired the lead of the race. However, Leclerc’s lead was short lived. On Lap 20, an engine failure saw the Ferrari driver come to a stop on the main straight with smoke pouring from its rear. Ferrari recorded their first double retirement in almost two years.
Yuki Tsunoda encountered DRS issues, which the AlphaTauri team attempted to fix using gaffer tape. Meanwhile, his team-mate Pierre Gasly came under pressure for fourth place from Lewis Hamilton.
The order remained unchanged at the front, with Verstappen leading home a Red Bull 1-2, Verstappen and becoming the sixth different winner in six races at Baku City Circuit. George Russell joined the Red Bull duo on the podium.
WHAT’S THE FASTEST EVER LAP HERE?
Attending the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix? Learn more about visiting Bahrain International Circuit in the F1Destinations Travel Guide.