A number of senior Formula One drivers have expressed their concerns over the safety of the Baku circuit ahead of this weekend’s European Grand Prix.
Set to host a Formula One race for the first time, the street circuit around the Azerbaijan capital has claimed to be the fastest street circuit in the world.
The 6-kilometre circuit features a 20-second flat out section along with a number of high speed straights which filter into tight corners.
That combination has left several drivers concerned that their safety has been compromised.
“It is like we have gone backwards in certain areas,” opined McLaren‘s Jenson Button.
“It is a shame because a lot of the circuit is good. You look at the condition of everything and it looks good.
“I do like the layout, I think it is exciting in some places but there are just some things that look like they need to be addressed.
“The bit I don’t like is a few corners,” added the 2009 world champion.
“We work so hard on safety, improving circuits all the time and we come here and we have corners like turn three, turn seven and turn 14 that don’t have any run off at all.”
“With those run offs, two or three that are really not looking good,” agreed championship leader Nico Rosberg.
“That’s not great and we need to see how it goes - there’s that corner, what is it, 14 or something, before going down the hill, where you’ve got a wall straight on. [As well as] turn three and then the pit entry as well.
“So that’s, yeah… not fantastic.”
Button’s McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso was more circumspect, though shared his fellow driver’s concerns.
“We don’t get involved in any of the layout or any of the decisions but, yeah, there are some corners that probably we will talk about.
“Some others that we need to go on the car first and see how they feel.
“We saw Singapore making some small modifications to some corners year after year until we find a good compromise,” he continued.
I guess it’s going to be quite similar here.”
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