Drivers fear "crazy" Baku F1 race with 60km/h wind gusts

Wind gusts of almost 60km/h could make for a "crazy" Formula 1 race in Baku on Sunday, according to drivers.

The weather forecast for the remainder of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend has gusts of up to 41km/h predicted for Saturday, with the peak wind speed then rising to 56km/h on race day.

Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley reckoned much of the Baku street circuit would be protected from the wind by its surroundings, but admitted it could still have a significant impact in some places – like the run from the Turn 16 left-hander down to the start-finish straight.

"I guess it'll be pretty sheltered for us for the most part, but I heard warnings of 60, 70 kilometres per hour, which will be crazy for everybody to be honest," Hartley said.

"So that will be a really tricky race if that's the case.

"When we walked the track [on Thursday], there was a little bit of wind and I took my hat off a couple of times, to feel the wind in my hair, just to try and figure out which corners were sheltered and which corners weren't.

"I think the wind's doing a 180-degree direction change as well.

"There could be a few places where it'll be gusty, through the buildings. I think it'll anyway be the same for everyone in that respect.

"If it's really 50 kilometres per hour, that's huge in a Formula 1 car, and some of those kinks [after Turn 16] might become corners."

Haas driver Romain Grosjean says he's seen gusts of up to 80km/h forecast, and reckoned this could be make the track action "a bit more emotional" for drivers.

"I think for the weekend now the challenge is going to be the wind, which seems to increase a lot," Grosjean said. "That could become quite tricky.

"It depends how strong it is, to be fair. If it's 10-20 kph, it does change, if it's a headwind or tailwind, your braking point and the downforce we get.

"If Meteo France is right and we go to 80kph of gusts, that could be a bit more emotional."

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo said he expected the wind would get "pretty aggressive" and would make "all the cars feel a little bit worse", while McLaren's Fernando Alonso suggested it could good for the Azerbaijan GP's entertainment value.

Asked whether the wind was a worry, Alonso said: "It is. There's a lot of wind expected for tomorrow and especially on Sunday.

"I think it's going to be good for you guys, to watch the straight – a lot of tows and many overtakings."

Additional reporting by Adam Cooper

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Azerbaijan GP
Track Baku City Circuit
Drivers Fernando Alonso , Brendon Hartley , Romain Grosjean , Daniel Ricciardo
Article type Breaking news