Oil-rich Azerbaijan became the newest destination to join the F1 calendar in 2016. The track which winds through the historic city of Baku has produced memorable races in recent seasons.
After signing a ten-year deal in April 2014, the Baku City Circuit joined the Formula 1 calendar in 2016, under the title of the ‘European Grand Prix’. At 6km, the circuit is the second-longest on the calendar, and thanks to its long straights, the track is also dubbed ‘the fastest street circuit in the world’, with cars reaching speeds of over 370km/h. A unique feature of the track is the section around Turn 8 which passes by the 12th-century Maiden Tower. At this point, the circuit’s width narrows to just 7.6 metres, meaning drivers require absolute precision to make it through the corner safely.
The first Grand Prix at the track, which Nico Rosberg dominated, left fans unimpressed, with the circuit providing a rather dull race. Since then, however, the circuit has delivered two dramatic races, with Daniel Ricciardo winning from tenth on the grid in 2017, and Lewis Hamilton taking the lead in the closing stages in 2018.
Formula 1 weekends are the only weekends of the year where this track is put to use. Formula 2 also races here as part of the F1 weekend, and usually delivers equally thrilling races. Despite recent speculation about the future of the event, a new contract will see the Azerbaijan Grand Prix remain on the calendar until at least 2023.
The 2020 Azerbaijan Grand Prix was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and whilst the circuit returned to the calendar in 2021, the race will be held behind closed doors with no spectators present.
Learn more: Baku City Circuit in Numbers
Upcoming events at Baku City Circuit
The Baku City Circuit is a temporary street circuit that’s only used once a year. The Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2023 takes place on April 28-30. (Tickets available here)
The Baku City Circuit is a race track in the heart of Azerbaijan’s capital city.
Heydar Aliyev International Airport (GYD) is the city’s main airport, and is located 20km from the city centre.
How to get to Baku City Circuit:
- Walk: With the track being in the middle of the city centre, the circuit will most likely be within walking distance if you’re staying within the centre.
- Metro: Metro tickets cost just 0.30 AZN (€0.16 EUR) per journey in Baku. Metro stations 28th May, Sahil and Icheri Sheher are within walking distance of the track. For the metro, you must get yourself a BakuCard and load it with credit. Click here for a Baku metro map.
- Bus: Bus journeys cost the same as the Metro in the city. Buses run as frequently as every three minutes in some areas over Grand Prix weekend.
- Rental Car: a car shouldn’t be necessary over Grand Prix weekend, but may be worthwhile if you wish to venture further out of the city during your visit. Browse rentals in Baku with Rentalcars.com
Where to stay
With the Azerbaijan Grand Prix taking place on Baku’s city streets, staying in the city center is the best way to enjoy your race weekend, with plenty of hostels, apartments and hotels on offer.
If you’re on a tight budget, the Centrum Hostel is a prime place to base yourself for the weekend. Meanwhile, a stay in a twin room at the Premier Expo Hotel will cost around €70 per night and is within a 15 minute walk to Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre.
For those with a larger budget, the towering Grand Hotel Europe and the Park Inn by Radisson Baku both offer up great views of the Caspian Sea and the city. Elsewhere, the Winter Park Hotel is within walking distance of the circuit, while the Ramada Baku Hotel even has its own private beach!
Check hotel prices in Baku for the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
More information about where to stay for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix can be found on F1Destinations: Accommodation – Azerbaijan Grand Prix