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Report: F1 apparently headed for Azerbaijan in 2015 or 2016

Mar 5, 2014, 10:04 AM EDT

Photo: Sohadizno Photo: Sohadizno

If there’s one thing Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone won’t turn down, it’s a country willing to offer up enormous funds for the privilege of hosting a Grand Prix.

Add Azerbaijan to that list.

In comments made to the U.K.’s Daily Mail, and with possible help coming from former Renault team principal Flavio Briatore, Ecclestone said Azerbaijan will be on an F1 calendar in either 2015 or 2016.

“We’re going to Azerbaijan,” Ecclestone told the Mail. “The people out there (in Azerbaijan) are talking about holding a race in 2015. That may be a bit soon — unless it’s at the end of the season, that’s a possibility. But 2016 is more likely.”

The streets of Baku would hold the race, and it actually wouldn’t be a first for the capital city. The Baku World Challenge has occurred there over the last two years, featuring GT racing. An FIA GT event highlight video from Baku is linked here.

Additionally in the Mail report, it said Ecclestone remains hopeful of the inaugural Russian Grand Prix in Sochi occurring later this year, despite the current turmoil there given the political unrest as it relates to Ukraine.

  1. testover6370 - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    Remember what I said in the article about F1 going to Long Beach, about how F1 will go to any developing/emerging country whose leader will put up a huge sum for his indulgence? Ding Ding Ding we have a winner!

  2. kitnamania13 - Mar 5, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Nice to see another round in the F1 Third World Championship. When is the GP of Kyrgyzstan going to happen? They could always cancel Monza or Monaco to make room on the calendar.

    • testover6370 - Mar 5, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan are both former Soviet republics so that would make them Second World. Combined with Sochi, plus China, F1 is biasing towards the Second World, not Third/

  3. crunge4461 - Mar 5, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    This is dumb and I hope it does not happen. F1’s schedule is already overloaded so if this race is added it means something will have to be dropped. Racing should happen where there are racing fans, I hate this attitude in F1 to just go to which ever country will pay the most money for a race.

    • testover6370 - Mar 5, 2014 at 4:05 PM

      It is unfortunately a product of the revenue structure in F1. F1 makes money from sanction fees and TV, not gate admission. TV brings the race to the fans, and if someone wants to pay that sanctioning fee, F1 gets its money regardless of how many fans show up or don’t show up at the actual track.

  4. manik56 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    When Russia invades, what will they change the name of the race too?

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