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New Baku circuit on track for June debut

10 May 2016

The FIA’s Formula One race director, Charlie Whiting, is confident the new Baku City Circuit will be completed in time for next month’s 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe, following his inspection of the venue and its facilities on Tuesday.

“You can see the quality of all the installations wherever you look,” said Whiting in the Azerbaijan capital. “My next trip to Baku will be at the beginning of June and I’m expecting to be able to say it will be ready then.”

During his visit, Whiting - joined by the track’s famed architect Hermann Tilke - covered all aspects of F1 racing’s newest street circuit, including the paddock and pit lane, located right in front of Baku’s imposing Government Building, as well as what is set to become the venue’s trademark image - the 7.6 metre narrow, uphill, winding sequence (Turns 8 to 11) past the city’s Old Town walls.

Whiting’s inspection also took in the ‘dual carriageway’ section of the circuit, as well as the main straight along Baku’s picturesque seaside boulevard, where cars are expected to hit speeds of up to 340 km/h as they race towards the finish line.

“It will be a fascinating F1 race,” he added. “Turns 8 to12 will probably be the most interesting, but so will the run from Turn 12 to 15, where the approach to Turn 15 in particular will be quite spectacular. The very long run from Turn 16 to 20, which is going to be flat out, will also be amazing to watch!

“If I had to compare one circuit to this one, it would be Singapore, but the speed here will be much higher!”

The 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe takes place on June 17-19 and tickets are available through the F1.com Ticket Store.