On 19 June, the Formula 1 once again broke new ground: for the first time, a race was held in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. Instead of building a new track somewhere in the open countryside, the German circuit planner Hermann Tilke, who had already planned the track in Shanghai in 2004, designed a demanding street circuit with 20 curves, a double chicane and an uphill section. The route leads past centuries-old buildings in the historical city centre, modern skyscrapers and the port on the Caspian Sea. So that the 22 racers can move their fast cars appropriately, machines from Wirtgen, Vögele and Hamm have produced a high-quality asphalt layer in the narrow streets and on the wide boulevards.
Already months before the race in Baku, preparations were in full swing. Specifically for the Grand Prix, all facilities were constructed in the city itself, such as paddock including pit buildings, premises for the teams, a media centre, the medical centre and the grandstand. But undoubtedly the largest project was the asphalt paving for the 6.003-km-long track. The team of the Azerbaijani general contractor AzVirt LLC installed binder and surface courses over 113,000 m2. The highest requirements of pavement quality were applicable, as the FIA, the organiser of the race, does not compromise on this point. After all, the Formula 1 cars reach speeds at full throttle of over 350 km/h, at the end of the round, on a less than 2-km-long straight. And in such cases one thing is critical: Even if you roar along a street circuit, the asphalt must be homogeneous, level and have excellent grip.
From cobblestone pavement to high-speed track
HD, H+ and HD CompactLine for high-quality compaction
To obtain optimum surface quality, AzVirt relied exclusively on tandem rollers from Hamm during compaction. The articulated machines of the HD, HD+ and HD CompactLine series ensure, through their very construction, even weight distribution – an important prerequisite for high evenness without ridges and cracks.
Another important advantage of Hamm rollers is their excellent visibility. The large rollers of the HD+ series primarily stand out for their panoramic cabin. The machines of the HD CompactLine come with a “wasp-waist” front section that provides an optimum overview of the working area.
Last but not least, the Hamm rollers score with their outstanding side clearance. In Baku, it enabled high-quality compaction along the many kerbs, fixtures and walls, right to the edge. In the process, the drivers also appreciated the large track offset of the articulated rollers that made it easy to achieve precise compaction of the edges.
Oscillation protects historic buildings
In Baku there was one more reason for oscillation compaction: the special movement of the oscillating drum produces very flat surfaces, with good initial skid resistance. Also thanks to this technology, AzVirt was able to meet the extremely high levelness requirements of 3 mm on a 4-m-long straight edge.