Fastest street circuit in F1?

Long-time Formula 1 circuit designer, Hermann Tilke, has done a quick Q&A about the new circuit in Baku. While some folks have been scratching their heads about the race itself, it seems that if Herman has this right, it could be an interesting circuit nonetheless. Here’s Hermann:

What was your first thought when you heard of the opportunity to build a street circuit in Baku? At the time I first heard about the opportunity to build a street circuit in Baku, I had no idea about the city. After my first visit to Baku I was left with just one thought: Amazing! From the very first moment, I was really proud to be a part of the project and the team here.

How long ago were you approached by FIA to design the track for Baku? We have been working on this project since June 2014 and at this stage we are beginning to get really excited. It`s only a few months to go and we can’t wait!

When did you first visit Baku? My first time in Baku was in June 2014. I was really surprised in a positive way. Baku is fascinating. I had a really warm welcome.

What makes Baku City Circuit so unique? Baku City Circuit stands out due to many factors: Baku will be the world’s fastest city circuit and the track loop around the city’s historical centre will create a unique and remarkable atmosphere for fans watching in the grandstands and at home. The City Circuit of Baku is located in a vibrant city. The streets are really narrow and this is exactly what makes it so appealing.

What was the most challenging part of the Baku City Circuit construction process? The most challenging task was to come up with an idea for the routing of a city track, which will be suitable for F1 in Baku. City circuits are always challenging to build, because the team has to construct the racetrack within the city. Various problems arise when designing a circuit in the city. But together with the Baku City Circuit team we successfully solved every problem!

What is the most similar track to Baku City Circuit? There is no track like Baku City Circuit –  it will be one of the most exciting ones on the calendar. Baku, of course, is not comparable with any of the permanent circuits, because it is a city circuit. But even when compared to city circuits, Baku is unique.

Baku City Circuit is expected be the fastest street circuit on the F1 calendar. What is the average lap time expected to be? We calculated a lap time of 101 seconds, but that depends on the individual set-up of the racing cars and on the developments of this year’s new cars.

What is the expected speed in the most challenging sequence of turns on the track, beginning at Turn 8? The brake point in front of Turn 8 is V max= 204km/h. Between T8 and T9 we expect a V min of 86 km/h.

What impact did the culture and history of the city have on your design?  The culture and history of Baku is the framework for Baku City Circuit’s design. The layout of the track is designed to show off the beauty of the historic and modern views and sights of Baku.

How often do you collaborate with Baku City Circuit team? How are preparations going? We constantly collaborate with the Baku City Circuit team. We are pleased to work with such amazing colleagues. The atmosphere between all participants is just great. The entire team will work until the last minute, but everything is currently on time.

What can F1 fans expect when they visit Baku City Circuit this June? Baku fans can expect a remarkable atmosphere at and around the Baku City Circuit. I can’t wait to see the race take place now!


All eyes on Austin as MotoGP touches down in the USA

All eyes on Austin as MotoGP touches down in the USA

When the fans arrived at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas last year, little did they know that they were about to play host to what would become a hatrick of victories in the USA for Marc Marquez in his rookie MotoGP season with the superfast Spaniard securing his first victory on American soil from his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa. Fast forward to 2014 and reigning MotoGP Champion comes to Austin on the back of a thrilling victory against Movistar Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi.

While Marquez will be reliving his winning strategy from last year, Rossi will aim to improve on his sixth place finish and back up his stunning pace under the floodlights in Qatar three weeks ago. Pedrosa also comes into the race off a third place finish in the first round and the Spaniard was unlucky not to have won the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas last year after leading the race for 12 laps last year.

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

Jorge Lorenzo will be focused on getting points on the board after crashing out of the first round while in the lead for the Movistar Yamaha team. Lorenzo has an improved YZR-M1 this year but the two-time MotoGP Champion is still struggling to get to grips with the 2014 Bridgestone rubber but despite this a third place finish here last year will give him something positive to focus on.

Continue Reading…

Yamaha heads to the USA for the GP of the Americas

After a two-week break, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP is on its way for the second round of the season: the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on the 13th of April.

The 2014 season may have only just started, but the GP riders have already displayed some intense racing at the Losail circuit in Qatar. The first race of the season was full of action and drama, a preview of what is … Keep reading

Special thanks to:

Ducati Team goes Texas-bound at the Circuit of The Americas

Following the opening round of the season in the Qatar desert, the Ducati Team is set to arrive in the United States for the first of two rounds this year on US soil.
Keep reading


Pirelli tire test to begin…without Lotus?

The FIA’s shock announcement regarding double-points wasn’t the only edict handed down yesterday. Additional initiatives were determined and one of those is a Pirelli tire test that starts on December 17th in Bahrain. The test accommodates Pirelli’s request to work with current car chassis and teams in helping the Italian tire maker develop the new tire compounds for the 2014 season.

Pirelli said they are focused on reducing the “marbles” or rolled up, spent rubber that accumulates off-line on the racing circuit making passing very difficult. They also have the challenge of making a high degradation tire that won’t last the entire race but also withstands the additional weight in 2014 as well as the additional torque from the Energy Recovery System and new turbo V6 engine.

The fact is Pirelli have a lot of work to do in order to avoid the 2013 tire blowout issues the series experienced at the British Grand Prix. Pirelli was caught up in an illegal test with Mercedes in 2013 and this has prompted to tire maker to get forceful in its demand for a meaningful test with current chassis and teams willing to pound out mileage to help produce the right tire for 2014.

Pirelli invited all of the teams but Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Force India and Toro Rosso are the only ones who will show up at the test on the 17th. There could be many reasons for Williams, Marussia, Caterham, Sauber and Lotus are not attending but perhaps the more surprising absence would be that of Lotus F1.

Lotus F1 has been a team that has been achieving success above their station (financial capacity) and many feel 2014 could be a return to earth for the orbiting team having lost their lead engineer and driver. their lack of attendance at this test could signal continued financial challenges or something else but suffice to say that dismissing the test as non-essential isn’t a very believable position for a team fighting for 3rd or 4th int eh constructor’s championship.