Formula One Debut for Azerbaijan in 2016

Azerbaijan is set to host Formula One for the first time in 2016. F1's Bernie Ecclestone confirmed that Baku will be the venue.

Updated: July 26, 2014 10:49 IST
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F1's Bernie Ecclestone confirmed that Baku will host a Grand Prix in 2016

Budapest, Hungary: Formula One commercial ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone on Friday confirmed that Azerbaijan will host a Grand Prix in Baku in 2016.

Event organisers in Baku announced the race in a statement and said it had been planned to run in 2015, but they had now shifted their debut on the calendar to 2016. (Lewis Hamilton fastest in Hungarian GP practice)

Ecclestone said: "We are very happy that Baku has joined the Formula One family. This will be a street race, which will pass through interesting and picturesque parts of Baku. The event will meet the current criteria." (Michael Schumacher responding by fluttering eyelashes: Report)

Azerbaijan's Minister of Youth and Sport Azad Rahimov said: "I am delighted to officially announce that we have signed a contract to bring Formula One racing to Baku in 2016.

"Our location at the crossroads of eastern Europe and western Asia is a new frontier for Formula One. Azerbaijan is a modern European country that has established a reputation as a centre of sporting excellence.

"The deal is a very significant new chapter in our ongoing success to attract the world's largest sporting events to our country."

The race will be on a street circuit to be designed by Austrian Hermann Tilke. The pits and start-finish straight will be at the city's iconic Azadliq Square.

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