Hermann Tilke is a name well known to most Formula 1 fans across the world. This would have much to do with the fact that he has been responsible for designing the majority of Formula 1's 'new' circuits, including the likes of the Yas Marina Circuit (Abu Dhabi), Marina Bay Street Circuit (Singapore), Bahrain International Circuit and Circuit of The Americas (Austin). Most recently, he has undertaken the challenge of designing a viable and challenging Formula 1 track on the streets of downtown Baku as the city prepares for the 2016 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF EUROPE this summer. Taking time out from his busy schedule, he spoke to Baku City Circuit about his hopes for this year's inaugural F1 race in Azerbaijan.
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!
BCC Launches New Interactive Website
BCC today also launched its brand new website. The new website is located at the same address as before – www.bakucitycircuit.com – and will offer F1 fans new tools with which they can explore the Baku City Circuit as well as enable them to learn about Azerbaijan's rich history, culture, sightseeing landmarks, cuisine and especially the country's famous hospitality.
A new interactive track guide will allow visitors to the website to get detailed information about the configuration of the newest street circuit in F1 as well as on each grandstand located along Baku City Circuit. An interactive game based on the actual configuration of the track will allow visitors to explore each corner of the circuit via detailed 3D views. As such, F1 fans visiting the new BCC website will have a chance to experience the speed and excitement that awaits F1 drivers at the 2016 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF EUROPE by participating in this adrenaline fueled online driving challenge.
To race the virtual circuit please go to: https://www.bakucitycircuit.com/event-guide/virtual-tour/lores
For those hoping to plan the entertainment aspect of their race weekend, the website will have a dedicated section providing them with detailed information on the Formula 1 Village and updates on the many entertainment activities, autograph sessions and concerts to be held during the race weekend.
BCC Marks Three- Months-to-Go until the 2016 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF EUROPE!
Baku City Circuit (BCC) this week marked another big milestone in its preparations for the 2016 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF EUROPE with several days of special 'Three-Months-To-Go' celebrations taking place along Baku's stunning seaside Boulevard.
Saturday March 19th, the day that marked exactly three months until the 8th round of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship is hosted in Baku, saw the opening of the celebrations to mark this significant milestone. In order to raise awareness among Baku residents and international visitors of the newest addition to the Formula 1 calendar, BCC staged a series of entertainment activities, including a 'Formula 1 Zone' with live concerts, F1 simulators and much more, in front of Baku's Museum Centre on the city's beautiful Boulevard.
This entertainment zone will be opened to the public from 10am to 10pm every day until the 2016 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF EUROPE. Here, people will be entertained by a variety of different activations and also provided with useful information regarding the upcoming F1 race weekend in Baku. Visitors attending will be able to feel a glimpse of the excitement, energy and adrenaline rush that makes a Formula 1 race weekend so special.
Nigar Arpadarai, BCC's Head of Marketing and Communications commented on these latest developments: "The preparations for the 2016 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF EUROPE have entered a new phase. To mark this occasion, we are opening an amazing Formula One entertainment zone, where people of all ages will be entertained and educated about F1. In addition, we are pleased to announce the launch of Baku City Circuit's new website, which will be the main platform where fans and media can receive the latest updates and information regarding the 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe. This is an exciting time for BCC and the entire city and I am thrilled to invite all of you to come visit us next June for the first ever F1 race in our beautiful city."
Tickets for the 2016 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF EUROPE still on sale!
With less than 3 months to go until the 2016 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF EUROPE arrives in Baku, tickets are still available on the official Baku City Circuit (BCC) website: www.bakucitycircuit.com as well as via Gootickets.com, Grand Prix Tickets Worldwide (gpt-worldwide.com) and Formula1.com.
For more information on how to purchase tickets and plan your stay in Baku for the 2016 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF EUROPE please visit: www.bakucitycircuit.com