With an extravagant star-studded night featuring Briton music chart-topper Dua Lipa, Azerbaijan said goodbye on Sunday to three days of fun for the 2018 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, held from April 27 through April 29.
Baku welcomed more than 90,000 racecar fans over the weekend, or roughly one-third more than what the Azerbaijani capital saw pour in during last year’s race, held in the summer, according to Formula 1 organizers.
Strong winds hit the Caspian Sea promenade on Sunday afternoon during the big race, but that did not stop tourists and locals from enjoying the event.
Alex, a native of Italy who has been living in Baku for two years, said he did not mind the weather as he is already used to it, but that the wind could create certain obstacles during the race.
“The track is very challenging, and with such weather conditions, I think the track is even more challenging,” he told Caspian News on Sunday.
Sunday’s race featured a number of car accidents from its very beginning, when Force India’s pilot Esteban Ocon crashed into a fence, and Russia’s Sergey Sirotkin got locked between the two other cars. As a result, both were forced to leave the race on the first lap of 51.
Red Bull also experienced an epic fail, when Daniel Ricciardo bumped into his teammate Max Verstappen, and thus knocked down the team. Finnish pilot Valtteri Bottas also failed due to a tire puncture with three laps remaining before he would reach the finish line.
The three-day race took place along the Baku City Circuit, the fastest street circuit in F1 racing, which was designed by renowned track architect Hermann Tilke. The circuit runs through Baku’s UNESCO-protected Old City, or the Icheri Sheher historical-architectural reserve, the city’s modern skyline, and along the Caspian Sea promenade.
“For example, the extremely narrow uphill section at the old town wall rewards pinpoints accuracy and courage, while the 2.2 kilometers along the promenade sees the cars running flat out at very high top speeds - an incredible spectacle for the race fans on track and the viewers at home,” Tilke said.
With the toughest point in course is its narrowest, measuring 7.6 meters wide, the configuration of the Baku track features 20 turns, while eight of them are 90-degree turns.
At the same time, racecar fans have had an opportunity to test the race track on the way to Crystal Hall, where world-famous musicians and DJs entertained both local residents and tourists.
“We went to the concert by bus along the track, and this was an unforgettable experience,” Ilya, a resident of Moscow told Caspian News.
While cultural festivities ended well after midnight, the city was crowded by people who continued to celebrate the victory of Briton Lewis Hamilton.
“We walk here until the end, go home late at night, and never even thought that something could happen – it’s absolutely calm and everything is fine,” Ilya added.