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. 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.

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

    Please no Baku, I would prefer Morocco then Azerbaijan

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

  4. 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?

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

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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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