Round four of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship is on this weekend, and teams are in the city of Baku, home of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The race is held on the Baku City Circuit, a Hermann Tilke-designed street circuit that stretches 3.73 miles and features the key characteristics of a long 1.3-mile straight and a long pit lining the edge of the Caspian Sea, coupled with some tight corners in the historic part of the city.
The circuit delivers a variety of challenges, including some severe gradients and difficult braking zones. Here, downforce requirements are the second-lowest of the year, after the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, but Baku has no high-speed corners to put energy through the tires. Thus, teams attempt to shave off as much downforce as possible, while ensuring the tires are worked hard enough to remain at optimal temperatures of around 212 degrees F (100 degrees C).
This is made tricky since the main competitive sessions of the weekend take place at twilight, when the track can cool quickly, often catching drivers out. And conditions will be mild this weekend, with the peak temperature during Sunday's race expected to hit only 66 degrees F (19 degrees C). Pirelli has nominated its C2, C3 and C4 compounds for the weekend.
Going into Saturday's qualifying session and Sunday's race, Mercedes-AMG's Lewis Hamilton leads the 2019 Drivers' Championship with 68 points. Fellow Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas is second with 62 points and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen is third with 39 points. In the Constructors' Championship, Mercedes leads with 130 points versus the 73 of Ferrari and 52 of Red Bull. Last year's winner in Baku was Hamilton driving for Mercedes.