Baku is a street track but it’s also very high-speed and it’s also very easy to chip sections of your front wing off in the barriers.
Here’s our guide to perfecting Azerbaijan’s tight and twisty Baku streets in F1 2020!
Turns 1 & 2
Turns 1 and 2 are the first of many 90-degree corners in Baku. As it’s at the end of a DRS straight, Turn 1 is a major overtaking spot.
You’ll be arriving into the first corner after the longest full-throttle event on the calendar at 210 mph (338 kph). You need to slow to 3rd gear by braking just before the 100m board and clip the inside kerb on corner entry.
Run wide on exit and straddle the red and white kerb as you run to Turn 2. Slow in, fast out is key for Turn 2, as you can’t afford to be slow down the second straight.
Brake just before the 50m board down to 2nd gear and avoid the inside kerb, it will unsettle the car’s rear end.
Turns 3 & 4
Turns 3 and 4 are left and right-handed corners that look simple but will end in disaster if you make a mistake. Turn 3 is arguably the best overtaking spot on the track, as it follows the second DRS zone in Baku.
Go to the right side of the track and brake at the 100m board down to 2nd gear. Clip the inside kerb and straighten up the car for Turn 4.
Brake just before the 50m board down to 2nd gear and avoid the inside kerb, like T2’s it will unsettle the car. Hard on the throttle on the exit as you head to another pair of tight 90-degree corners.
Turns 5 & 6
Turns 5 and 6 are effectively a chicane but you need to be careful on entry for T6, you can easily lose your front wing through here.
Brake at around 75m down to 2nd gear and hug the inside of Turn 5’s kerb. Squirt the throttle for a fraction of a second for T6 and avoid the inside kerb, you’ll likely be hitting the barriers otherwise.
Turn 7 is the final corner before Baku’s infamous Castle Section but can’t be underestimated. The white line jolts out to the left but don’t cut it too much, it’s a perfect location to pick up a penalty.
Brake at 75m down to 2nd gear and ride the inside kerb to avoid the outside wall on exit, it’s deceptively tight. Get hard on the throttle into Turn 8 before braking at 75m again and into 3rd gear.
Ignore Turns 9 and 10, you need to treat the castle as almost a straight run between Turns 8 and 11. Fade to the left after T10 for T11 and brake down into 2nd gear at around the point where you’re topping 3rd gear.
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Turns 11 and 12 are effectively a chicane and one you need to be smooth with to be fast. Steer hard to the right through T11 to set yourself up T12.
You don’t need to brake for T12, just coast until you get a clear view of the road ahead and floor the throttle.
Turns 13 & 14 are both easy flats in the dry but you need to be on the ball or you will run wide. Make sure you avoid the kerbs through these as well, you don’t need to use them.
Turn 15 is the challenging corner, as the outside wall is very tight and it’s deceptively downhill on exit.
Brake at 75m down into 2nd gear and clip the inside kerb before getting hard on the throttle towards the final braking zone of Turn 16.
You can pass into this corner but it’s very tight and you’ve got a huge full throttle event coming up to pass instead.
Turn 16 is absolutely critical to a good lap, as the next time you’ll be off the throttle is Turn 1. Brake just after the 100m board down into 3rd gear and clip the inside kerb.
Avoid the outside kerbing and the run-off area, you’ll lose heaps of time if you run out there. Get hard on the throttle towards Turns 18 and 19, there’s plenty of grip here.
Turn 17 is one you won’t even notice but Turns 18 and 19 provide a challenge in the wet or when your tyres are struggling. You want to lift off the throttle, but you need to keep the loud pedal planted throughout.
To be safe, you need to clip the inside kerbs of both Turns 18 and 19 but be wary of the inside walls, you’ll be going 190 mph (305 kph) through here.
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Turn 20 is officially the final corner of the track but like T17, it’s one you won’t notice. The slip stream is extremely powerful down this straight, especially when you activate the DRS.
Setups are very difficult to choose here, as you need good downforce for the tight corners but also straight-line speed for the long straights. We’ve got you covered with both dry and wet weather Azerbaijan setup guides!
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