After what has felt like an eternity, Formula 1 will return to our screens this weekend as the drivers head to Azerbaijan for the fourth race of the year.
Since the drivers were last out on the track, the FIA have updated the rules around sprint races which will be put in place this weekend. While previously the sprint race would determine Sunday’s starting grid, the new rules will bring in a new ‘sprint shootout’ which will determine a separate sprint race, taking place on the Saturday.
To find out more on the new sprint race rules, head to our article on Sprint Races. In the meantime, here is all you need to know as Max Verstappen looks to extend his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship while Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc still look to find a way of fighting back into the battle for the 2023 title.
When is the Azerbaijan Grand Prix?
The race weekend will begin on Friday 28 April and conclude on Sunday 30 April. Here is the full weekend schedule (all times are UK BST):
Friday 28 April:
- Practice 1: 10.30am-11.30am
- Qualifying: 2pm -3pm
Saturday 29 April:
- Sprint Shootout: 9.30am-10.15am
- Sprint: 2.30pm-3pm
Sunday 30 April:
- RACE: 12pm
Where does the Azerbaijan Grand Prix take place?
The Azerbaijan race takes place on the streets of Baku. The Baku Street Circuit is the latest street circuit in the F1 calendar and the first Grand Prix here was held in 2016, as the European Grand Prix. The inaugural Azerbaijan Grand Prix was held a year later and witnessed Daniel Ricciardo beating Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll while Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel had engaged in a collision behind the safety car.
This circuit is a huge mix of wide and open as well as tight twists. There is a long main straight along the Baku shoreline with cars able to run three abreast into the first turn. From here, there are track loops around the city’s narrow old town and, much like in Monaco, the slightest mistakes are quickly punished. Additionally, set-up wise, the teams are forced to choose between downforce for the twisty elements of the race as well as less drag for the long straight.
How to watch the Baku Grand Prix?
Fans can watch Formula 1 on Sky Sports’ dedicated channel, Sky Sports F1, and coverage can also be streamed on SkyGo. Races are also usually shown on Sky Sports Main Event. Sky Sports F1 can be found on channel 406 on Sky and 506 on Virgin, while Main Event is on 401 on Sky and 501 on Virgin.
Highlights are shown across Sky Sports F1 with repeats of qualifying and race later on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, while Sky Sports News will show clips. Fans can also check out highlights on Sky Sports’ website and Formula 1’s official channels. Channel 4 also have free-to-air highlights, with qualifying highlights shown at 7.30pm on Saturday,
Who will win the Baku Grand Prix?
Here are the top ten drivers set to win the race. All bets are courtesy of Bet365:
- Max Verstappen - 4/11
- Sergio Perez - 4/1
- Fernando Alonso - 10/1
- Lewis Hamilton - 14/1
- Charles Leclerc - 28/1
- George Russell - 33/1
- Carlos Sainz - 40/1
- Lance Stroll - 100/1
- Esteban Ocon - 250/1
- Pierre Gasly - 250/1