Minister says Baku could be on next 10 F1 calendars

Jun.14 (GMM) Baku could become a long-term feature of forthcoming F1 calendars, according to Azerbaijan’s sports minister Azad Rahimov.

With an unique, narrow and ultra high speed street layout, the former Soviet republic will this weekend host its inaugural F1 race by reviving the European grand prix.

However, the Azerbaijan news outlet ABC said ticket sales have been slow, with only 18,500 tickets printed for the race and “not all of them sold”.

Nonetheless, Baku could be in F1 to stay, unlike other recent new hosts like Turkey, India and Korea that had only short-lived runs on the calendar.

“The contract for the race is signed for five years,” minister Rahimov said, “and under the contract, we have the right to extend it for a further five years.”

For the F1 circus itself, the flyaway Canada-Baku double header – with both races held within a 7-day period – is particularly trying, but none more so than for the Sauber team.

Struggling with finances, the Swiss outfit could not afford to join the special charter flights that went directly from Montreal to Baku.

Instead, according to Blick newspaper, the team’s equipment has gone back to Zurich and then on to Azerbaijan via Istanbul, because “it is cheaper”.

Another piece of bad news for Sauber is that after a truck drove over the foot of a team member in Monaco, he has unfortunately had a toe amputated, Blick reported.

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