The European GP is back and at a new track in a new country, Azerbaijan.
But as it’s a new track, stats are a little trickier to come by, so a lot of this post will just be about the straight and why it isn’t 2.2km long like some may claim. First of all the word straight, by definition it is a line without a bend, curve or angle, so Baku has a 1.2km long straight. To make explaining easier I’ve added a map of the track above.
That 1.2km long straight stretches from turn 20 to turn 1, because it’s a straight, that is what a straight is, no corners. Now ok turn 20 isn’t much of a turn and it’s easily flat, but that still isn’t 2.2km, that’s 1.6km and while technically still not a straight but I can accept it being described as 1.6km. The 2.2km “straight” some are describing runs from turn 16 to turn 1, that isn’t a straight, the road is not straight, there are corners, four of them, not a straight.
Anyway! The Baku City Circuit is 6.006km long, making it the second longest track on the calendar behind only Spa-Francorchamps. The race will have 51 laps in total, giving a race distance of 306.306km. Doing a bit of maths and a lot of guesswork, I estimate laptimes at Baku to be between 1:22 and 1:28.
The race will mark the 23rd European GP, or the 47th if you include the races where it was an honorary designation, i.e. when the European GP was a name on top of an existing Grand Prix. The European GP (as a standalone event) has taken place at six different tracks and four countries if you include Baku.
Of the current drivers only Alonso, Massa and Vettel have won the European GP, but I expect there to be a new addition to that list this weekend.
The Silly Stats
I know very little about Azerbaijan, but apparently the Karabakh horse is the national animal of Azerbaijan, one of those horses could run a lap of the Baku City Circuit in 6:29.664