Ecclestone considering Azerbaijan F1 race in 2016

2016 F1 season

http://youtu.be/UjZMX5eXDF4

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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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.

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

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

  8. 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)

  9. 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)

  10. 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…

  11. spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 5th March 2014, 21:02

    I don’t like very much street circuits, and those chicanes are just awful. When it is said that a ‘similar venue’ is to be designated, I fear I won’t like it, I prefer fast circuits, like Spa, Suzuka and Monza.

    Besides that I am unsure about whether it is a good idea or not to establish a race in this kind of country where elections are won with a score above 76%. For those who watched the video and spotted the (paid) men with flags, I mean come on. But that is another story.

  12. HawkAussie (@hawkaussie) said on 5th March 2014, 21:54

    Please no Baku, I would prefer Morocco then Azerbaijan

  13. Bring back French GP instead. Preferably on Paul Richard. And South Africa, Argentina, Portugal and Mexico.

  14. F1 has reached a bit of a turning point, and it needs to decide what it wants to do. As far as I can see, it has two options:
    1) Classic F1 – the push for the best cars and drivers – probably 16-20 of them, racing around the best circuits the world has to offer
    2) “F1 World Series” – lots and lots of cars, racing in lots and lots of rounds. Probably using a GT-esque “Prototype” and “Customer” split, [I’d suspect Maruissia and Caterham to switch to customer cars] such that entry isn’t limited by the number of teams, but by the number of places on the grid. Imagine if we had 35 cars vying for the 24 grid slots. Wouldn’t that make Q3 more interesting?! Introducing drop-scores would also make it more interesting, perhaps only allowing 20 scores to count – I’d expect the big teams to do all the rounds, and maybe those with a smaller budget to do fewer, but still have a chance of doing OK. As to Number of races, how about 36? NASCAR do it(!) – that also means we might get to see more interesting and varied “one-off” tracks.

    Of course, most people on here would prefer option 1, I expect… but option 2 really isn’t that bad… is it?

  15. SauberS1 (@saubers1) said on 5th March 2014, 23:21

    I don’t like this. We need more back of traditional racetrack.

  16. John H (@john-h) said on 5th March 2014, 23:23

    OIL

  17. Jorge Lardone (@jorge-lardone) said on 5th March 2014, 23:51

    I’m no doctor, but I know a disease called “senile dementia.” After reading this article, I am convinced that Mr. Ecclestone has it. It would be useful for fórmmula one world thah someone else took his place, before it is too late.

  18. skylab (@skylab) said on 6th March 2014, 0:29

    When Bernie tells you something like this it usually means that you should check that you still have your wallet…. ;-P

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