Trackside in Baku – 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Your trackside guide to the Baku City Circuit and the Azerbaijan Formula 1 Grand Prix. The next race is scheduled for April 27-29, 2018.

Fans reported friendly and helpful trackside workers at the Baku City Circuit in 2016, but also complained about a lack of organization (toilets out of order, not enough rubbish bins). The voucher system for buying trackside food was also a source of frustration. That’s the benefit in going to the later editions of a new race, where the organizers have hopefully learned from their mistakes and taken steps to improve the fan experience!

This year marks the third race on the streets of Baku, and the only other on-track action apart from Formula 1 is the main feeder series, Formula 2. 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.

2018 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX SCHEDULE

Thursday, April 26

  • 12:00-21:00: F1 Fanzone opening times
  • 14:00-15:30: Pit Lane Walk for 4-day ticket holders (don’t forget to bring your tickets to gain entrance!)
  • 18:05-18:30: Pit Lane Walk (F1 Experiences)
  • 18:35-19:05: Drive the Track Tour (F1 Experiences)

Saturday, April 28

  • 10:00-21:00: F1 Fanzone opening times
  • 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 27

  • 10:00-21:00: F1 Fanzone opening times
  • 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 29

  • 10:00-21:00: F1 Fanzone opening times
  • 13:10-14:00: Formula 2 sprint race (21 laps or 45 mins)
  • 14:40-15:10: F1 driver’s track parade
  • 16:10-18:00: 2018 Azerbaijan Formula 1 Grand Prix (51 laps or 120 mins)

F1 DRIVERS AUTOGRAPH SESSIONS

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 (20-30 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. Here are the times for the 2018 driver’s autograph sessions:

Friday, April 27

  • 11:55-12:15: Williams
  • 15:40-16:00: Red Bull
  • 16:00-16:20: Haas

Saturday, April 28

  • 11:00-11:20: Renault
  • 11:20-11:40: Ferrari
  • 15:40-16:00: Toro Rosso

Sunday, April 29

  • 11:00-11:20: McLaren
  • 11:20-11:40: Sauber
  • 11:40-12:00: Mercedes
  • 12:00-12:20: Force India

2018 AZERBAIJAN GP CONCERTS

No expense has been spared once again by the Baku organizers, who have signed Jamiroquai, Christina Aguilera and Dua Lipa as this year’s headliners, plus some big name DJs. For the first time, the concerts will be 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 that the organizers are putting on. Crystal Hall is open from 19:00 to 03:00 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Here’s the 2018 Baku F1 concert schedule:

Friday, April 27

  • 20:00: Local Support Act
  • 21:00: Jamiroquai
  • 23:00: DJ Mansur
  • 24:00: Afrojack
  • 01:30: DJ AKG

Saturday, April 28

  • 20:00: Local Support Act
  • 21:00: Christina Aguilera
  • 22:30: DJ Pancho
  • 24:00: Axwell & Ingrosso
  • 01:15: DJ Heyder & ALIGEE

Sunday, April 29

  • 20:00: Local Support Act
  • 21:00: Dua Lipa
  • 22:15: DJ Tim
  • 24:00: Martin Solveig
  • 01:30: DJ Ruidoloco

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 F1Destinations.com. 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.

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