FernandoAlonso Baku City Circuit ambassador
Are you surprised by what you’ve seen on your first visit here? FA: I’m definitely surprised by the circuit, facilities and the layout. All the preparations are ahead of what I thought they would be. There’s always a question mark when you come to a new circuit, a new country and you wonder what the reaction of the people will be. So far they have been very enthusiastic and very passionate about the event, and that will grow when the race comes here in June.
I didn’t come with any idea of what the city would be like, but it has a very European style, a little like Budapest. The city is extremely safe – it’s quite developed and is growing very quickly.
The track looks pretty quick…
What do you make of Turn 9, which runs past the old city wall and the Maiden Tower? FA: It’s uphill and the final part is a completely blind corner, so there’s no room for any mistakes. All street circuits have these types of characteristics, though, and being so close to a historic wall and tower, it will look even more dangerous when you see it on television.
Do you like having a mix of different types of circuits and countries to visit? FA: New countries are important to Formula 1 as you open the sport to new cultures and new people. And street circuits give you the chance to be close to the people and this provides a better show. Some of the events that are no longer on the calendar, were fantastic circuits in new countries, but then we stopped racing at them because they were inconvenient or too far from the city. So having street circuits in new countries is quite a good solution.