Updated: May 29, 2021
Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan is a fairly recent addition to the F1 calendar and in that short time, it has produced some incredibly exciting racing moments. It is most famous for the insanely narrow castle section and super long main straight. Learn how to master it below:
Sector 2 is much more complex than Sector 1 and contains the famous, narrow castle section. This sector is all about pushing the limits when it comes to the walls, but not overstepping the mark and hitting them.
For Turn 5, move back over to the right using all of the track and brake just after the 100m board.
Shift down to 3rd gear and use all of the flat inside kerb as it is flat right up to the wall.
Aim to keep left out of T5 so you compromise your T5 exit to open up the T6 entry and improve your run onto the next straight.
Turn 5 quickly leads into Turn 6 so you rely on a good line through T5 to make the best out of T6 by taking a wide line through it.
On the transition between the left of T5 and the right of T6 shift down to 2nd gear to help rotate the car, before short-shifting again on exit.
Aim for the white line at the apex as this kerb is fairly large and not one you want to be taking heavily.
This next section starting with Turn 7 gets a little more tricky so make sure you concentrate, it is easy to end up in the barriers.
Brake roughly halfway between the 100m and 50m boards and shift down to 2nd gear for the apex
This apex kerb is really important to shorten the line around Turn 7, so make sure you use as much as the track limits will allow but be careful not to cut it completely.
Short shift on the exit and get back over to the right for the tricky T8
Turn 8: Entry
We have arrived at the famous Turn 8 - the castle section. Begin braking just before the 50m board whilst being right up against the outside wall. Be cautious under braking.
Try to keep your eyes focused on the apex here because it can be easy to miss it and end up in the wall, try to keep the braking boards in your peripheral vision.
The castle section is the narrowest part on the calendar at just 7.6m wide, so we are unlikely to see overtaking through here!
Use 4th gear at the apex here, and stay in 4th throughout the whole uphill section of T9 and T10, using all of the track available to you.
As you pass the castle on your left, continue to hug the left barrier to open up the entry to Turn 11.
It is important to try to spot your apex for T11, which can be tricky as you can't see it from here.
For Turn 11, shift down to 3rd gear and aim to take all of the kerb being careful not to catch the edge of the wall as Hamilton once did.
Stay to the middle of the track on exit so as to not compromise your entry through T12 and down the next flat out section.
Turn 12: Apex
Keeping it in 3rd gear for Turn 12 too, take a late apex and get your tyre fully on, but not over the striped kerb as you want to maintain traction.
Use all of the track available on exit but be careful as it is easy to get invalidated here.
Turn 13 is easy flat so just try to scrub as little speed as possible here, smoothing out the line with T14.
Similarly to Turn 13, Turn 14 is easily flat so just try to scrub as little speed as possible again here.
Coming towards Turn 15, the final corner of Sector 2, brake in a straight line at around 75m, shifting down to 3rd gear.
For this apex, there are two possible lines, a safe line and a risky line. The risky line in F12020 involves fully mounting the inside kerb with all four tyres, which shortens the line significantly but the large kerb can send the car in the air. The risky line can gain you some time but could just as easily put you in the wall.
The safer line, which is much more like how they would take it in real life, is to simply go around to the right of this kerb and just gently clip it.
Use all the track as always on the exit, being careful not to brush the wall.