Azerbaijan GP: After Verstappen & Leclerc Bit the Dust – What Makes Turn 15 in Baku Crash Prone?

Published 06/06/2021, 8:04 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 5, 2021 Race marshals remove the car of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen from the track after he crashed during practice REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov


This year, turn 15 at the Baku City Circuit has to be proved quite a challenge for all drivers to nail. Most of them have either had a brush with the barrier or have avoided the corner by taking to the escape road. Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Lance Stroll, and Antonio Giovinazzi are some drivers who made friends with the barrier at Turn 15.

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Azerbaijan Grand Prix has always delivered on good racing, excitement, and incidents. The layout is 6km long in distance, making it one of the longest on the calendar. Most of the corners and turns around the street circuit are 90 degrees, making it harder on the brakes.

Keeping this in mind, let us understand what makes Turn 15 so tricky for drivers to master.

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Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll walks away from his car after crashing during qualifying REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

Max amongst the driver to crash in Baku

The track layout of Baku is more flowing than Singapore and has more tricky braking zones than Monaco. Since the teams run low downforce levels and tire compounds are the softest in the Pirelli range, the car control is more demanding.

Max Verstappen found that out the hard way when he crashed into Turn 15 in FP3. The Dutchman was coming into the corner too hot, braking late and locking up on the front left, and going into the wall.

The tire degradation on the circuit is quite high. So, by the time the driver reaches Turn 15, they do not have the same amount of grip. Low grip in the tires results in higher pressure on the brakes and aero stability of the car.

Turn 15 is also quite bumpy, narrow, and downhill. In the corners before Turn 15, drivers are flat out in modern-day cars. According to WTF1. com, there is a bump before the turn which makes the tire lock up really easy as you are carrying more speed.

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Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 5, 2021 Race marshals remove the car of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen from the track after he crashed during practice REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Can Max Verstappen avoid the barriers on Sunday?

Turn 15 will be a corner to watch out for on Sunday, especially for leading cars of Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton, and Max Verstappen. Since most of the drivers would be on softer and colder tires, this corner could prove to be a nightmare.

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The likelihood of a safety car on the streets of Baku is quite high. Everyone would be wary of carrying too much speed into Turn 15 at the start of the race.

What do you think will we see a car crashing at Turn 15 on Sunday? Comment below to let us know.

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Devang Chauhan

340 articles

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