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Azerbaijan GP: Preview - Ferrari

NEWS STORY
26/04/2023

Formula 1 is back on track after almost a month stop at the Baku City Circuit for the fourth race of the season, which features the first of six weekends in the Sprint format. It's the seventh time Formula 1 is racing in Azerbaijan.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal: It's been almost a month since the last Grand Prix and in that time we have been working hard in Maranello on the development of the SF-23, both in terms of improving the current car package as well as moving forward with the planned updates that will be gradually introduced over the course of the coming races. Charles and Carlos have played their part, working in the simulator and giving us feedback. In Australia, we had already made a step forward in terms of pure performance and for Azerbaijan, we expect to move on from there.

The race in Baku is the first of six Grand Prix weekends this year to be run to the Sprint format and for 2023, the timetable and procedure has been drastically overhauled. Now, the Sprint becomes a standalone race of approximately 100 kilometres rather than being the first part of a 400-km Grand Prix. It is held on Saturday, following its own qualifying held earlier in the day.

The Friday timetable features one hour of free practice, followed by qualifying to set the grid for Sunday's Grand Prix. The regulations for this qualifying remain the same as far as tyre use and times are concerned (Q1 18 minutes, Q2 15, Q3 12). However, for Saturday's qualifying, known as the Sprint Shoot-Out, the times are reduced to 12, 10 and 8 minutes and a significant difference is that each driver gets just one set of new tyres per session: one set of Mediums for SQ1, the same for SQ2 and one set of Softs for SQ3. Parc Ferme rules apply from the start of Friday qualifying and for the two races, DRS can be used after one lap has been completed, while points are allocated to the top eight finishers in the Sprint, with eight for the winner down to one point for eighth place.

Ferrari in Azerbaijan

GP contested 6
Debut European GP 2016 (S. Vettel 2nd; K. Raikkonen 4th)
Wins 0
Pole positions 3 (50%)
Fastest laps 2 (33,33%)
Total podiums 3 (16,66%)

Azerbaijan Grand Prix - Facts & Figures

6. The number of different winners in as many Formula 1 Grands Prix held in Baku. The first race, in 2016, went by the name of Grand Prix of Europe and was won by Nico Rosberg. From 2017 onwards, the race was renamed Azerbaijan Grand Prix and was won by Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen. Ferrari has twice finished second, with Sebastian Vettel in 2016 and Kimi Raikkonen in 2018. Charles Leclerc was fourth in Baku in 2021 and Carlos Sainz finished fifth in 2018.

70. The number of different nationalities that make up the population of Baku. It owes its multi-ethnicity to having always been on the crossroads of commerce and travel, on the old Silk Road and more recently being home to a flourishing gas and oil industry.

400. The number of mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan. Small mounds, anything from a few centimetres to metres in height, they spew out a mixture of clay and water combined with saline substances such as salt, bromine and iodine as well as methane and hydrocarbon gases. Azerbaijan is home to half the world's number of these volcanoes that can sometimes erupt up to 150 metres high.

700. The years that the Yanar Dag eternal flame has burned, due to natural gases burning beneath the sand. This 116 metre-high hill, also known as the "mountain of fire", is situated on the Absheron peninsula, around 25 kilometres from Baku. Legend has it that the fire was started by an unwitting shepherd as he knocked out his pipe.

3000. The approximate number of carpets housed in Baku's Carpet Museum. The shape of the actual building is also linked to its contents, presenting the form of a rolled up carpet.

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