Pirelli primer: Which tyres for the Azerbaijan GP?

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Formula 1 sets up shop along the shores of the Caspian Sea this weekend and on the fastest street circuit of the season.

Baku's claim to fame - apart from its well-founded reputation for creating drama on race day - is its long, 6.003-kilometer straight that has the effect of cooling down the front tyres in particular, which can cause a risk of front locking.

Pirelli brings to Baku the same selection sees at the previous round in China: C2 as the hard tyre, C3 as the medium tyre, and C4 as the soft tyre.

Last year the race was won with a two-stop strategy, but this was influenced by two safety cars.

In fact, the safety car has been out in the last two of the three Azerbaijan races held to date, so all strategies have to be flexible.

"The main challenge in Baku lies in balancing the front and rear axles, keeping both the front and rear tyres in the right operating window," explains Pirelli's F1 man Mario Isola.

"It is quite a varied track, with a very long two-kilometre straight and also some more technical corners.

"The frequency of the safety car also often causes a headache – or maybe an opportunity – for the strategists.

"The tyres that we have nominated from the middle of our range should be well-suited to the mixed demands of Baku, but it’s always one of the most difficult races of the year to predict.

"This is often the case for a street circuit, but Baku is the most unconventional street circuit on the calendar, with the high speeds of a conventional track as well as a very long lap."

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