TODAY.AZ / Sports

Baku successfully hosts 2018 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

30 April 2018 [15:39] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Rashid Shirinov

Baku, the city that has become the constant member of the Formula 1 yearly calendar, has succesfully hosted the 2018 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix last weekend.

Following the 2016 European Grand Prix and 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, this was the third Formula 1 championship in the streets of the Azerbaijani capital.

As many as 20 drivers representing 10 teams, including such famous drivers as Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkönen, Fernando Alonso and many others, struggled for the first place in the Baku City Circuit. Its length is slightly over six kilometers, with the widest part of 13 meters, and the narrowest of 7.6 meters.

The racers drove as many as 51 laps along the central streets of Baku. The track connected a number of modern and ancient architectural monuments of the capital, such as the Maiden Tower, the Icherisheher (Old City) the Philharmonic Hall, the Government House and other landmarks. Moreover, a big part of the track runs along the picturesque Baku Boulevard. The start and finish lines of the race were at the Azadlig Square.

The 2018 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix started on April 27 with first and second practice sessions, followed by third practice and qualifying on the next day and the final race on April 29.

The final race will long be remembered by Formula 1 fans as a crazy race. One of the most memorable incidents happened to two Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen. The racers, who had pretty good chances to win, got out of the race after Riccardo hit the back of Verstappen’s car on the 40th lap of the race and took him off the track.

Another unfortunate incident happened to the Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas. He was leading, but when two laps left before the finish line, his car’s tire got a puncture. Thus, the Finnish racer also got out of the race.

As for the winners, Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes team came first, spending 1 hour 43 minutes and 44 seconds to overcome the distance of 306 kilometers. The second and third place winners Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari and Sergio Perez of Force India were late just for 2.5 and 4 seconds respectively.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva, who watched the final race, awarded the winners of the Grand Prix in Baku. The head of state presented the F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Winner’s Cup to Lewis Hamilton.

“It was a really quite an emotional race. It was very fortunate today. I did not give up, I kept pushing,” the racer told reporters.

The winner of the FIA Formula 2 race became George Russell, driver from the UK representing the ART Grand Prix team. Meanwhile, Brazilian driver from the Carlin team Sergio Sette Camara ranked second, and Dutch driver Nyck de Vries of Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing became third.

As in previous years, the Grand Prix in Baku included not only exciting races, but also unforgettable entertainment. Tourists and fans enjoyed a wide range of cultural, sightseeing and entertainment programs, voicing their excitement with the excellent organization of the event in Baku.

Interesting colorful events in the fan village, autograph sessions of racers, concerts of world pop music icons – Jamiroquai, Christina Aguilera and Dua Lipa, – accompanied by famous DJs, gave the Formula 1 in Baku a special status and interest.

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix brought together thousands of race lovers and tourists in Baku, and all of them enjoyed the breathtaking races and their trip to the Azerbaijani capital.

“Although I love Formula 1, this is the first time I watch the competitions live, and I can say that the organization level of the event is incredible. I am indescribably pleased to see how Baku has become one of the best sites in history of the F1 race,” a British tourist Alvin Flinton told reporters.

He added that the atmosphere of the city, uniting traditions and innovations, along with friendly and hospitable people attract people to Baku.

The Azerbaijani capital, which, besides Formula 1 competitions, has hosted a number of major international events, such as Eurovision 2012, Baku European Games 2015, FIG gymnastics competitions, 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games and chess tournaments, will certainly continue to please the world with its excellently organized events in the future.


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