Masi denies Baku F1 pit entry is dangerous

Formula 1 race director Michael Masi has disputed 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg’s claim that Baku’s pit entry is one of the “most dangerous” and “scary” places on the calendar.

Masi denies Baku F1 pit entry is dangerous

Sunday’s fourth running of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix – and fifth F1 race held at the Baku City Circuit after the inaugural event was run under the European GP name in 2016 – saw two drivers, Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll, suffer tyre failures while on the main straight, causing them to spin out at high-speed.

Both drivers were able to walk away from their incidents, but they led to ex-Mercedes and Williams driver Rosberg’s concerns about the Baku pit entry being discussed again.

Rosberg completed a virtual lap and track guide of the Baku City Circuit on his YouTube channel in the lead-up to the race, and highlighted his grievances with the pit entry at the track.

The pit entry in Baku is located to the left-hand side of the track, and requires drives to jink left slightly before turning right to come into the pitlane, peeling off the circuit at the fastest point of the circuit.

“I’m going to show you one of the places I always found the most dangerous of the whole year,” Rosberg said in the video, having won the only F1 race he contested in Baku back in 2016.

“It was quite scary. You’re arriving down here now at 350 kph, now look what’s on the left [referring to the pit entry].

“Imagine something breaks on the car here. You’re at 350 kph. On the left, there’s just a wall, and it’s facing you. If something breaks and you’re in that wall, it’s the end, there’s no more you.

“This is one of the most scary places I’ve ever driven an F1 car in. To go by there just feels ridiculously wrong. But you have to try and blend it out.”

But F1 race director and safety delegate Masi said he did not agree with what Rosberg had said because the circuit had met the FIA’s Grade 1 requirements.

“No, I disagree with that comment,” Masi said. “The pit entry and the entire circuit has been designed, and is homologated by the FIA as a Grade 1 circuit, and fulfils all of the various safety requirements that the FIA has within its regulation requirements. So no, I disagree.”

Stroll suffered his tyre failure prior to pit entry, while Verstappen spun out to the right-hand side of the track, meaning his car did not go near to the wall that Rosberg raised concerns about.

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