This year's Azerbaijan Grand Prix will be the first race weekend to host the revamped Sprint format.
Fridays will now include an FP1 session and standard qualifying session to set the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix, while Saturdays will include the continuing 100km race with an additional, preceding qualifying session called the ‘Sprint Shootout’.
Azerbaijan is one of the newest additions to the Formula One calendar, hosting a race since 2016. The track is the second-longest on the calendar after Spa-Francorchamps.
The track layout takes drivers past famous sights such as the Maiden Tower, the historic old town and the beach promenade. The pits are directly in front of the Government House building.
The circuit features the 90-degree bends now obligatory for street racetracks, but mixed in with long straights and some high-speed, sweeping sections towards the end of the lap.
As the circuit is not a permanent racetrack, grip, or the lack of it, plays an important role. The track must first be rubbered in. Having plenty of mechanical grip is important in this respect so that drivers can power out of the tight, slow-speed corners.
Three different Mercedes drivers (Nico Rosberg 2016, Lewis Hamilton 2018 and Valtteri Bottas 2019) have claimed victory at the Baku City Street Circuit.
The track is unique on the calendar for its close proximity to a UNESCO world heritage site (the Old City) and for being situated below sea-level.