Trackside in Baku – 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Your trackside guide to the Baku City Circuit and the 2019 Azerbaijan Formula 1 Grand Prix. The next race is scheduled for April 26-28.

April 24: Sam Smith is a late cancellation due to illness and will be replaced by Jessie J.

This year marks the fourth race on the streets of Baku, Formula 1’s newest destination. After an uneventful first year – when it was known as the European Grand Prix – the last two races have been modern classics. The organizers have also improved the fan experience year on year after some initial teething problems concerning the facilities and the voucher system for purchasing trackside food – luckily the latter system has been removed and you can now pay at the track with cash or credit/debit cards.

Taking a leaf out of Singapore and Abu Dhabi, Baku puts on some big-name concerts. Last year the concerts moved to the Crystal Hall, where Azerbaijan hosted the Eurovision song contest in 2012. This year, Sam Smith and Cardi B headline. Apart from F1, the only other on-track action at Baku City Circuit this year is Formula 2 – luckily, F1’s main feeder series generally delivers close racing.

Six access gates provide circuit access for fans (see map). Most of the grandstands and off-track activities are located on the southern side of the circuit, closest to the waterfront boulevard (or Bulvar). To get around the circuit, there’s plenty of underpasses and bridges to help you cross the track. Click here for a detailed map.

Baku City Circuit entry requirements

Fan are subject to a search/inspection of belonging on entry to the circuit. Here is a select list of prohibited items at Baku City Circuit: alcohol, beverage containers (except for one clear plastic bottle of water: no more than 100 ml in size), food (excluding baby food), photo cameras with lenses exceeding 30 cm, any seating devices (chairs, stools), flags with handles exceeding 1m or with offensive texts/symbols/images, picnic hampers.


Thursday, April 25

  • 14:00: Gates Open
  • Time TBC: Pit Lane Walk for 4-day ticket holders (don’t forget to bring your tickets to gain entrance
  • 18:35-19:35: Pit Lane Walk & Drive the Track Tour (F1 Experiences guests only)

Saturday, April 27

  • 10:00: Gates open
  • 12:00-13:05: Formula 2 feature race (29 laps or 60 mins)
  • 14:00-15:00: Formula 1 practice (FP3)
  • 17:00-18:00: Formula 1 qualifying

Friday, April 26

  • 10:00: Gates open
  • 11:00-11:45: Formula 2 practice
  • 13:00-14:30: Formula 1 practice (FP 1)
  • 15:00-15:30: Formula 2 qualifying
  • 17:00-18:30: Formula 1 practice (FP2)

Sunday, April 28

  • 10:00: Gates open
  • 13:10-14:00: Formula 2 sprint race (21 laps or 45 mins)
  • 14:30-15:00: F1 drivers’ track parade
  • 16:10-18:10: 2019 Azerbaijan Formula 1 Grand Prix (51 laps or 120 mins)


Autograph sessions are held with each team separately in Zone 1 from Friday to Sunday. The sessions for the top teams are on Saturday, and some sessions overlap. The sessions are short (20 mins) and you should get there early to be guaranteed your favorite driver’s autograph, especially if he’s from a top team. Last year, some fans complained that a few sessions were cut short, and they had to queue for a long time in the sun without any shade; take along a hat or umbrella if the forecast is for hot weather. The sessions are held on the F1 Village stage behind the main grandstand. Check the 2019 timings below.



No expense has been spared once again by the Baku organizers, who have signed Sam Smith (Saturday) and Cardi B (Sunday) as this year’s headliners. The concerts are now held at Crystal Hall, the impressive indoor area along the foreshore from the circuit, which hosted the Eurovision song contest in 2012. Concerts are held three nights over the weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). You can walk from the circuit to Crystal Hall along the Bulvar (foreshore boulevard) in about an hour, or take one of the free shuttle buses (or ferry) that the organizers are putting on.

April 27

  • 18:30: Crystal Hall opens
  • 19:30: Support acts begin
  • 21:00: Sam Smith concert begins
  • 23:30: Crystal Hall closes

April 28

  • 18:30: Crystal Hall opens
  • 20:30: Support acts begin
  • 22:00: Cardi B concert begins
  • 23:30: Crystal Hall closes

Been to the Baku City Circuit? Comment below with your trackside tips!

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About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of He originally hails from Adelaide, where he went to his first F1 race way back in 1987. He's been resident in Europe for almost 15 years and travels regularly to F1 races around the world.

Comments (3)

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  1. Ron Bonnett says:

    We attended the Baku Grand Prix last year.
    Event was excellent. Well organized and combined race events with a surrounding of culture and history.

  2. Charlie says:

    Find facebook groups where you can stand on local’s balconies rather than bother with the grandstands IMO.

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