Baku ‘like we have gone backwards’ on safety – Button

Jenson Button believes sections of the Baku City Circuit lacks the correct run-off areas in places and “is like we have gone backwards” in terms of safety.

The new track around the streets of Baku will host the inaugural race in Azerbaijan and expects to see the highest top speeds of any street circuit on the calendar. While Button says he is a fan of the layout of the track he is disappointed by the lack of run-off areas and wants the FIA to look at what can be changed.

“It is like we have gone backwards in certain areas, I don’t know why…” Button said. “Maybe the circuit was supposed to be the other way around. 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 like the layout, it is exciting in some places but some things look like they need to be addressed. I am sure Charlie [Whiting] will say ‘why didn’t you speak to me first’, but I haven’t had the chance. I can’t see them changing anything anyway.”

Specifically picking out some of the areas of concern, Button says he understands the challenge of a street circuit layout but is disappointed at the lack of run-off areas.

“I think it will be fun around the castle. It’s very narrow. I think in an F1 car it is unbelievably narrow at speed. 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 run-off at all.

“Turn 7 has 3 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.”

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