Bottas sets record top speeds at the Baku City Circuit


Credit: Glenn Dunbar/Williams

Hermann Tilke, the Formula 1 track designer who has design input into circuits like the Red Bull Ring in Austria and Circuit of the Americas in the USA, was surprised with the top speeds that were recorded at the Baku Street Circuit during the track’s inaugural race.

The Williams Martini Racing of Valtteri Bottas officially was clocked crossing the start/finish line at 366.1km/h during qualifying for the European Grand Prix. Using the slipstream from the Red Bull Racing of Max Verstappen.

Data from Williams has also showed that the FW38 continued to accelerate, reaching a speed of 378km/h. This speed has exceed the speed trap figures from high-speed circuits on the F1 calendar, Mexico and Monza. At the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix, through the speed trap Felipe Massa was recorded at 364.3km/h, beating the previous highest from Sergio Perez of 354.6km/h at the 2015 Italian Grand Prix.

Before the European Grand Prix, Tilke only estimated speeds as low as 340km/h around the street circuit, not believing the circuit would be so quick.

“Our computer programme for lap time and speed simulation stops at 340km/h, because you never know what teams will use in terms of wings and settings,” explained Tilke to Motorsport.com.

“Some teams said it would be about 345km/h or 350 km/h, but in the end it was a lot more. I think it is a record in all of F1.”