F1 drivers expect high winds in Baku to make race 'crazy'

Wind gusts of almost 60km/h could make for a "crazy" Formula 1 race in Baku on Sunday, according to drivers

The weather forecast for the remainder of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend has gusts of up to 41km/h predicted for Saturday, with the peak wind speed then rising to 56km/h on race day.

Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley reckoned much of the Baku street circuit would be protected from the wind by its surroundings, but he admitted it could still have a significant impact in some places - like the run from the Turn 16 left-hander down to the start-finish straight.

"I guess it'll be pretty sheltered for us for the most part, but I heard warnings of 60, 70 kilometres per hour, which will be crazy for everybody to be honest," Hartley said.

"So that will be a really tricky race if that's the case.

"When we walked the track [on Thursday], there was a little bit of wind and I took my hat off a couple of times, to feel the wind in my hair, just to try and figure out which corners were sheltered and which corners weren't.

"I think the wind's doing a 180-degree direction change as well.

"There could be a few places where it'll be gusty, through the buildings. It'll anyway be the same for everyone in that respect.

"If it's really 50 kilometres per hour, that's huge in a Formula 1 car, and some of those kinks [after Turn 16] might become corners."

Romain Grosjean says he's seen gusts of up to 80km/h forecast, and reckoned this could be make the track action "a bit more emotional" for drivers.

"The challenge is going to be the wind, which seems to increase a lot," Grosjean said. "That could become quite tricky.

"It depends how strong it is. If it's 10-20 kph, it does change, if it's a headwind or tailwind, your braking point and the downforce we get [are affected].

"If Meteo France is right and we go to 80kph of gusts, that could be a bit more emotional."

Daniel Ricciardo said he expected the wind would get "pretty aggressive" and would make "all the cars feel a little bit worse", while Fernando Alonso suggested it could good for the Azerbaijan GP's entertainment value.

Asked whether the wind was a worry, Alonso said: "It is. There's a lot of wind expected for tomorrow and especially on Sunday.

"I think it's going to be good for you guys, to watch the straight - a lot of tows and many overtakings."

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