Ecclestone considering Azerbaijan F1 race in 2016

2016 F1 season

Bernie Ecclestone wants to hold the first Formula One race in Azerbaijan, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

The Mail claims former Benetton and Renault team principal Flavio Briatore is behind the race. Ecclestone said the race promoters want to hold a grand prix as soon as next year. “That may be a bit soon — unless it’s at the end of the season, that’s a possibility,” he said, adding a slot on the 2016 F1 calendar was “more likely”.

Azerbaijan would be new territory for Formula One. The sport has never held a race in nor featured a driver from the country, which lies on the boundary between eastern Europe and western Asia.

The former Soviet state, which gained independence in 1991, held the final round of last year’s FIA GT championship on a tight street circuit in the capital Baku, overlooking the Caspian Sea (see video above). A similar venue is being considered for the F1 race.

Last year Ferrari announced it was opening a car dealership in Baku.

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99 comments on Ecclestone considering Azerbaijan F1 race in 2016

  1. Dan Brown (@danbrown180) said on 5th March 2014, 10:36

    Ecclestone should be considering where to put the soap come 2016.

  2. baldgye (@baldgye) said on 5th March 2014, 10:48

    Yes please, more street races. They provide the best action and the most exciting races. Lots of over-taking and battling for position they really are great!

    …or am I thinking of something else…

  3. Azerbaijan, huh? No driver. No motor racing pedigree. No history. Do they have any circuits? Do they have any national series? Maybe a ladder for home grown talent to climb? An F3 series maybe, touring cars? Karting? Do they have teams? do they contribute to the motorsporting community? make any components?

    I’m guessing for the most part, no.

    Blancpain GT visited the country, first under the guise of the “World Challenge” in 2012 on a street circuit that was essentially a square. They returned at the end of last year to something resembling a modern-day, central Asian AVUS. The chicanes they added just caused chaos, most of the first race was run under yellow flags, and it was generally a crap way to end a great season, with half the teams not even travelling there.

    Bernie. There is no need. Once again, please stop, and go away.

    • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 5th March 2014, 11:20

      It is interesting that the race which may make way for the motor racing free zone that is Azerbaijan is Germany according to Joe Saward. It’s not like Germany gives F1 a third of its powertrains, the last world champion or 18% of the drivers on the grid or anything…

  4. JPedroCQF1 (@joao-pedro-cq) said on 5th March 2014, 11:03

    So, Bernie wants to race in a country that’s still officially at war with Armenia and that, having been part of the Soviet Union, will probably have a region invaded by Russia?

    By the way, shouldn’t FIA and FOM have already cancelled the Sochi GP? Just saying…

  5. Sam (@) said on 5th March 2014, 11:08

    11 reasons why we don’t need another track in another country.

    1) Istanbul Park
    2) Magny Cours
    3) Imohla
    4) Valencia (yeah I liked it)
    5) Watkins Glen
    6) Brands Hatch
    7) Donnington
    8) Estoril
    9) Paul Ricard
    10) Zandvoort
    11) Heusden-Zolder

  6. Dave (@raceprouk) said on 5th March 2014, 11:31

    There aren’t enough ‘N’s and ‘O’s in the world to make enough instances of the word ‘no’.

    I’d sooner F1 drops Silverstone for Lydden Hill than use the Baku street circuit.

  7. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 5th March 2014, 11:32

    With all these races popping up in the news, Bernie should start asking himself what exactly a new race add’s to F1 with an already busy calendar. Circuits are build all over the world, to then host a couple of F1 races and then to be abandoned. It’s a real waste of money, even if F1 isn’t paying for is, which im not sure of.

  8. Tomsk (@tomsk) said on 5th March 2014, 11:55

    Send Formula E there first. That should be used to test all these new venues (and stupid rules) then the circuit would be finished and bedded-in before the Grand Prix goes there.

  9. Ciaran (@ciaran) said on 5th March 2014, 13:44

    You know that trick Bernie sometimes pulls when he’s in the press for the wrong reasons, so he claims F1 is going to a new location, and everyone goes ballistic and forgets what the original story was? I think he’s doing it to you again. And you’re falling for it… again.

  10. How about a winter race in Alaska with snow chains on? Like Throphee Andros.

  11. Andrei (@crandreico) said on 5th March 2014, 14:42

    Seriously, what’s with this trend to bring the races to countries or locations with freaking zero motorsport tradition, and where nobody wants to go to see them.

  12. celeste (@celeste) said on 5th March 2014, 15:00

    I feel very ignorant… I didn´t knew this country at all :(

  13. mfreire said on 5th March 2014, 15:25

    What about a second South American race in, say, Argentina? Rebuild the Buenos Aires Oscar Galvez autodrome (the No. 15 version) or use Portero de Los Funes? (BA would be the more likely choice of the two)

  14. Klaas (@klaas) said on 5th March 2014, 16:32

    F1 races of 2017 season:
    1. Bangladesh GP
    2. Nepal GP
    3. Honduras GP
    4. Somalian GP
    5. Kyrgyzstan GP
    6. Greenland GP
    7. Sierra Leone GP
    8. Bolivian GP
    9. Burkina Faso GP
    10. Yemen GP
    11. Haitian GP
    12. Fiji GP
    13. Papua New Guinea GP
    14. Cambodia GP
    15. Madagascar GP
    16. Turkmenistan GP
    17. Lesotho GP
    18. Crimean GP (awarded triple points and the trophy will represent a Putin statue)

  15. DB Cooper said on 5th March 2014, 18:13

    Hey, why even build grand stands? Lets get more races in corrupt countries willing to pay max race fees and just send them by pay-per-view. Empty grand stands in countries with no history of, or interest in motor racing?! Thats Bernies future. No more Spa or Nurburgring, no new races in USA, maybe even scrapping Silverstone. Next up; Harare, Zimbabwe. I’m shure President Robert Mugabe can cash up! The future for F1 looks bright…

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