Gulhuseyn Abdullayev, 19, a promising Azerbaijani driver, was at the wheel as he completed four laps of the Baku circuit. After the first taste of brand new circuit, he strongly hints that, Baku will exceeds other Formula 1 street tracks.
Also the Baku street race promoter reveals that, there is no immediate plan to step up to night race status.
Although all eyes are on Montreal ahead of this weekend’s Canadian round, the sport will quickly move on to the Azerbaijan capital of Baku early next week for the second instalment of a hectic ‘flyaway’ double-header.
FIA race director Charlie Whiting is currently in Baku, giving the spectacular street circuit the final green light.
“You can see the quality of all the installations wherever you look,” said the Briton.
Indeed, Abdullayev over a four-lap test of the circuit in a GP3 car.
“Baku does not fall behind other street circuits, I would say it even exceeds other street tracks,” he said afterwards.
In fact, Baku is different to most street circuits in that it is lined by historic buildings and includes a particularly narrow section defined by an old town wall.
But it will also be remarkably fast, with the authoritative Auto Motor und Sport predicting that engines will be stressed even more than at Spa or Monza.
Whiting said: “If I had to compare one circuit to this one, it would be Singapore, but the speed here will be much higher.”
What will be conspicuously different to Singapore, however, is that Baku will take place under natural rather than artificial flood lighting.
But race promoter Arif Rahimov admitted that the topic of a night race has at least been discussed.
“A night race brings with it additional costs and added complexity in the construction of the circuit,” he told Russia’s Championat.
“I think in the first year we have enough problems without lighting, so there is no clear plan for that. Maybe one day.
“Baku is very beautiful at night, but our city is also beautiful in the afternoon,” Rahimov added.