Baku F1 track is a step backwards in safety - Jenson Button

Jenson Button believes Formula 1 has gone "backwards" in some aspects of safety with Baku's new street circuit

Baku F1 track is a step backwards in safety - Jenson Button

The McLaren driver cited a lack of runoff and narrow escape roads at several points on the 3.732-mile, 20-turn European Grand Prix venue in Azerbaijan, plus a tight pit entry.

Drivers enter the pits off the high-speed straight into a chicane that is then followed by 100 metres of straight track before the white line marking the pit speed limit.

When Button was made aware of the white line being 100m after the chicane he said: "It is like we have gone backwards in certain areas, I don't know why.

"Maybe the circuit was supposed to be the other way around. It is just how it is.

"It is a shame because a lot of the circuit is good and you look at the condition of everything, it does look very good.

"I do like the layout, it is exciting in some places but some things look like they need to be addressed.

"The bit I don't like is a few corners.

"We work so hard on safety, improving circuits all the time and we come here and we have corners like T3, T7 and T14 that don't have any runoff at all.

"Turn 7 has three Tecpro barriers and then a concrete barrier at the edge of the circuit.

"There is not much you can do because there is a building in the way. It is a shame really."

Button underlined drivers are confident the FIA will make sure the track is safe.

"We all do as drivers trust the FIA and they do a fantastic job of keeping us safe," he said.

"They have improved pretty much every circuit we go to, including Monaco.

"But running around it just looks like there is little runoff. Hopefully I am wrong."

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo said he likes the pitlane entry.

"It's going to be quite cool because the pit entry is always a part you can gain a little bit of time," he said.

"This one in particular I think if a driver gets it right and a driver doesn't quite go in there as committed or makes a mistake, there's easily half a second if not a second on that pit entry, between a good one and a bad one.

"You either crash or you lose a lot of time.

"It could be cool if you are battling someone in the race and you are trying an undercut or an overcut,

"Maybe what you do on the pit entry can dictate who wins that position. I like it actually."

When asked about Ricciardo's comments about gaining time, championship leader Nico Rosberg said: "Yeah but there's also a massive accident to be had if you go a little bit more than that."

Sauber's Marcus Ericsson added: "You are going to have to brake and turn and then it's sharp right-left and then you sort of brake again for the speed limiter.

"I don't mind, but I see that it could lead to big accidents going into the pit and I'm not sure that's what we want."

Rosberg said there was a "little bit of a concern" with the runoffs, adding: "There's that corner, 14 I think, going down the hill, you have a wall straight on. Turn 3 and pit entry as well, so that's not fantastic."

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