Formula 1

Baku City Circuit extends contract with Formula 1

2 Mins read
Carlos Sainz Jr. and Max Verstappen - Formula 1 - 2018 Azerbaijan GP
Credit: Red Bull Content Pool (Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The future of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix is safe until 2023 at the earliest after promoters Baku City Circuit extended its deal with Formula 1 for another three years.

After its inaugural race in 2016, under the tag of the European Grand Prix, the Azerbaijan race has become one of the most exciting spectacles for spectators in the Formula 1 season.

All three races in the Azeri capital have seen rare podium finishes for drivers outside of the top three teams, through Racing Point‘s Sergio Pérez in 2016 and ’18 and Williams Racing‘s Lance Stroll in a chaotic 2017 edition.

An agreement over the race’s future was concluded at the Benefits of Hosting Major Sports Events in Baku’s Fairmont Hotel between Formula 1 Group CEO Chase Carey and Azerbaijan’s Minister of Youth and Sports Azad Rahimov.

“We are very pleased to have renewed this agreement which will see the Azerbaijan Grand Prix feature on the Formula 1 World Championship calendar for many years to come,” Carey said, in an announcement released today.

“In just a short space of time, this race has become one of the most popular of the season, always producing closely fought and spectacular racing. The Republic of Azerbaijan provides a really excellent welcome to everyone in Formula 1 and the beautiful city of Baku is an amazing backdrop for the greatest motor racing show in the world.”

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix’s renewal follows deals signed by the Belgian, Chinese, German, Japanese and Singapore events as well as the new Vietnam Grand Prix over the past two years.

Rahimov said that this was a “proud day” for the city and thanked Carey and Formula 1 for being “such great friends [of the] race”.

“The last few years have been a dream come true for the people of Baku as we have seen our race weekend grow from a simple idea into one of the most dramatic and exciting race weekends in F1’s history,” Rahimov said.

Already, we have played host to some of the sport’s most iconic moments. Furthermore, every year we have seen more and more fans from all over the world attend the race and have been overwhelmed at how well our event has been embraced by the global Formula 1 community. 

“This new agreement will allow our race to maximise its commercial revenues through increased fan-engagement activities and a brand-new sponsorship approach to engage our local and regional businesses with Formula 1’s global platform. 

“With these exciting opportunities in mind, extending our contract was never in question and we are delighted to stay in this wonderful sport for another 5 years at least.”

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DTM, Formula 1 writer and deputy editor for The Checkered Flag. Autosport Academy member and freelance voice over artist.
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