Trackside – 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Your trackside guide to the Baku City Circuit and the Azerbaijan Formula 1 Grand Prix. The second edition of the race is on June 23-25, 2017.

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 second edition of a new race, where the organizers have hopefully learned from their mistakes and taken steps to improve the fan experience!

Baku City Circuit: need to know

  •  The good news is that Formula 2 (ex-GP2) will be returning to Baku this year. Unlike the sedate F1 race last year, the GP2 races was memorable for lots of thrills and spills. The bad news is that this is the only other racing apart from Formula 1, making for a pretty light on-track schedule in Baku.
  • 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.

2017 Azerbaijan GP weekend schedule

  • Friday, June 23

    • 11:00-11:45: Formula 2 practice
    • 13:00-14:30: Formula 1 free practice 1
    • 15:00-15:30: Formula 2 qualifying
    • 17:00-18:30: Formula 1 free practice 2
  • Saturday, June 24

    • 12:00-13:05: Formula 2 feature race (29 laps or 60 mins)
    • 14:00-15:00: Formula 1 free practice 3
    • 17:00-18:00: Formula 1 qualifying
  • Sunday, June 25

    • 14:00-14:50: Formula 2 sprint race (12 laps or 45 mins)
    • 15:30-15:40: F1 driver’s track parade
    • 17:00-19:00: 2017 Azerbaijan Formula 1 Grand Prix (51 laps or 120 mins)

Pitlane walk on Thursday, June 22
A pitlane walk for fans holding 4-day tickets is held on Thursday from 19:00-20:30. Don’t forget to bring your tickets!

Driver’s 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 2017 driver’s autograph sessions:

Friday, June 23

  • 11:00-11:20: McLaren
  • 11:20-11:40: Haas
  • 15:40-16:00: Williams

Saturday, June 24

  • 11:40-12:00: Red Bull
  • 12:15-12:35: Ferrari
  • 12:20-12:40: Mercedes
  • 12:40-13:00: Renault

Sunday, June 25

  • 12:40-13:00: Torro Rosso
  • 13:20-13:50: Sauber
  • 13:45-14:10: Force India
Did you know?
The 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix will be held during the summer solstice, the longest days of the year. Sunrise is at 05:13 and sunset is at 20:14.

Concerts

No expense has been spared once again by the Baku organizers, who have signed up some big acts for this year’s F1 concerts, including Mariah Carey, The Black Eyed Peas & Nicole Scherzinger. The latter will be best remembered by F1 fans as Lewis Hamilton’s ex-girlfriend. Although fans reported a good crowd last year when Pharrell Williams, Enrique Iglesias and Chris Brown headlined, it was easy to get close to the main stage. The concert area is located on the waterfront boulevard near the Bulvar grandstand (see map). Here’s the 2017 Baku F1 concert schedule:

  • Friday 21:00-23:00: Tarkan
  • Saturday 21:00-23:00: The Black Eyed Peas & Nicole Scherzinger
  • Sunday: 21:00-23:00: Mariah Carey

Have you been to the Baku City Circuit? Leave a comment below with your trackside tips!

June 21, 2017

Trackside – 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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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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