Race start time | Azerbaijan GP F1 2023
Race schedule | Baku GP 2023
F1 2023 Azerbaijan GP: BAKU
Official, the Sprint Shootout debuts in Baku.
The revolution is accomplished. The Baku weekend will be the first in the history of Formula 1 in which as many as two separate qualifying sessions will take place. The news, which has been in the air for a few weeks now and blessed by the approval of all the team principals of the various teams, as well as the top management of the Circus, became official today, Tuesday, April 25. The format that will be implemented on the six weekends enriched by Sprint races during this season is thus modified. Friday will remain identical to the last two seasons, with free practice in the morning and ‘traditional’ qualifying in the afternoon. However, this session will only determine the starting grid for Sunday’s GP.
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Sprint Shootout is here! 🍿
Imagine qualifying, but even quicker. Every lap counts as Saturday's Sprint Shootout sets the grid for the #F1Sprint
Leaving Sunday's Grand Prix unaffected 🔒 pic.twitter.com/oTVrJIuLvl
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 25, 2023
Focus on Saturday
The big news is the new structure planned for Saturday. In fact, in the morning there will be a new qualifying session, renamed the Sprint Shootout, which will be used to determine the starting grid for the short race that will take place on Saturday afternoon. This new qualifying will actually have the structure of classic qualifying, with the tripartitioning of the rounds and the gradual elimination of the five slowest cars, but it will present some novelties in terms of duration and constraints regarding what tires will be used. Q1 will last 12 minutes, Q2 ten and Q3 eight; in the first two rounds, moreover, drivers will be obliged to use a medium tire, while those who land in Q3 will be obliged to use a soft compound.
COMPOUNDS NOMINATED FOR F1 2023 Azerbaijan GP -Baku
THE TYRES ON TRACK
For the upcoming grands prix in Azerbaijan (April 28-30) and Miami (5-7 May), Pirelli has nominated the same three compounds used for these races last year. At Imola (19-21 May) the nominations will be softer then those made for 2022.
On the Baku street circuit, the teams will have at their disposal the C3 as P Zero White hard, C4 as P Zero Yellow medium and C5 as P Zero Red soft. This is the softest trio of compounds in Pirelli’s range, which are well suited to the tight corners on this city circuit as well as the long straights where the cars reach a maximum speed of 340kph. The most common strategy for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix is a one-stopper, although some teams stopped twice last year to take advantage of a virtual safety car before the chequered flag. The race was held at the beginning of June in 2022, with thermal degradation becoming a factor due to the high asphalt temperature.
For Miami, Pirelli has nominated three compounds in the middle of the range, with C2 as P Zero White hard, C3 as P Zero Yellow medium and C4 as P Zero Red soft. The focus is on versatility for this street track run around the Hard Rock Stadium, which takes in 19 corners as well as three long straights. The race can be completed by stopping only once, as a number of drivers demonstrated last year with good management of an opening stint on the medium tyre, even though a two-stopper is quicker on paper. The weather in Florida is a constant variable, with the risk of wind and rain another factor to consider.
For the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, softer tyres have been chosen due to the low severity of the circuit and the contained wear seen on the tyres last year. The C3 is the P Zero White hard, C4 is P Zero Yellow medium and C5 is P Zero Red soft. A new qualifying format will also be run at Imola, with just one compound used in each session. In Q1 only the hard will be available, Q2 will use only the medium, while the soft is just for Q3. This “Alternative Tyre Allocation”, which will also be used at another race weekend this year after Imola, reduces the total tyre allocation for each car from 13 sets to 11 per weekend. The new Cinturato Blue Full Wet, the first Pirelli rain tyres that don’t need tyre blankets, will also make their debut at the opening Italian race of the year.
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RACE START TIME SCHEDULE – F1 BAKU GP (UTC+1)
Friday 28th April:
- Free Practice 1 13:30-14:30
- QUALIFYING 17:00-18:00
Saturday 29th April:
- SPRINT SHOOTOUT 12:30-13:14
- SPRINT (17 Laps or 60 Mins) 17:30 – 18:00
Sunday 30th April:
- Race 15:00-17:00