Azerbaijan signs contract to host 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe
Azerbaijan pens a contract to host "2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe" after Baku 2015
Azerbaijan continues to establish itself on the world sporting stage having completed a deal to host a new Formula 1 Grand Prix event in the capital city of Baku in 2016.
The race – to be known as the ‘Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe’ – will take place through the streets of Baku with the city’s medieval Old City, modern, iconic skyline and spectacular views across the Caspian Sea creating a racetrack with a backdrop to rival other famous street circuits on the FIA Formula 1 World Championship™ calendar.
We are very happy that Baku has joined the Formula 1 family. This will be a street race, which will pass through interesting and picturesque parts of Baku
“I am delighted to officially announce that we have signed a contract to bring Formula 1 racing to Baku in 2016. Our location at the crossroads of eastern Europe and western Asia is a new frontier for Formula 1 racing,” said Azerbaijan’s Minister of Youth and Sport, Azad Rahimov.
“Azerbaijan is a modern European country that has established a reputation as a centre of sporting excellence. The deal to bring Formula 1 racing to Baku is a very significant new chapter in our ongoing success to attract the world’s largest sporting events to our country,” he added.
While the design and exact course of the city street racetrack has yet to be finalised, Minister Rahimov revealed that it is envisaged that Baku’s Azadliq Square will accommodate the race start, main grandstand and pits and that the racetrack will include major roads and landmarks such as Neftchilar Avenue, Government House and Maiden Tower.
“Baku’s ‘Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe’ will be a spectacular addition to the Formula 1 calendar. The course that we are planning to design will be similar to leading street circuits already on the FIA Formula 1 World Championship calendar,” he added.
Azerbaijan’s ambition to create one of the most exciting races on the Formula 1 circuit was welcomed by Bernie Ecclestone, Chief Executive Officer of the Formula 1 group of companies.
“We are very happy that Baku has joined the Formula 1 family. This will be a street race, which will pass through interesting and picturesque parts of Baku. The event will meet the current Formula 1 criteria.”
Baku is already highly experienced in hosting international motor-racing having hosted other racing series for the past two years, presenting spectacular racing over a city street circuit around Crystal Hall – the venue built to host the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest – and the National Flag Square.