The Azerbaijan Grand Prix race promoter Arif Rahimov has stated that the race is secured on the calendar after speculation surrounding the event could be replaced by a future race in Miami.
Formula 1 is working to introduce a race in Southern Florida next year to increase the calendar to 22 races, the most an season of F1 will ever contain.
Miami’s introduction led to speculation that it could be a replacement race for Baku who are in their third year of the ten-year contract with FOM, but race promoter Arif Rahimov told F1i.com that the race wouldn’t be dropped in place for a slot in the ‘Magic City’.
“I didn’t even discuss it with FOM because it just makes no sense,” said Rahimov. “We have a contract that is a binding contract for five years, five races, starting in 2016.
“Neither of us can break it unless we both agree to break it. On the other side, if Miami comes in, it can just come in and all the other races can stay there. It’s up to 22 races anyway. I think it was just a rumour. I don’t know how this rumour got spread, because it made no sense from the beginning.
“I guess they’re going to release the draft calendar this month or next month. We’re going to be in this calendar and it’s going to sort out most of the questions.”
Baku had until the 31st May to trigger a break clause in their current contract but Rahimov has said that they never had plans to initiate the clause on their contract but an aim to get a better deal.
“We haven’t triggered the break clause. We’re negotiating on the second part of the contract,” he said. “We do definitely want to be there in the average of the flyaway races. That’s not the only thing we’re discussing with FOM. It’s most of the other commercial terms in the contract too.
“They want to try the new approach too so it’s a bilateral effort to make this viable for all of us. We’re trying to get it sorted before the end of June. I think we’ll come to some agreement.”
This year’s edition of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix took place in April compare to its usual slot in June. Rahimov wants to address the issue over their place on the calendar, ideally wanting their race to be back on the June slot.
“If we are in April, then really we have to start in the winter and you have adverse weather, all the rains and winds that stops you from working effectively,” Rahimov continued. “Ideally we would like to hold the race in June.”