Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 31
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
The authoritative British edition Financial Times published an article on F1 Grands Prix to be held in Azerbaijan.
"The former Soviet republic was confirmed this month as the latest country to hitch its ambitions to the world's richest motorsport series, as details were announced of a new Grand Prix to be raced around the streets of Baku, its fast-developing capital, from 2016," the article says.
At the launch, Bernie Ecclestone, F1's commercial chief, hailed the "latest addition" to the calendar and anticipated a "world class event" on the shores of the Caspian Sea in two years' time.
Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan's Minister of Youth and Sports, says bringing F1 to Baku
was a logical step after it staged the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and won the right to host matches for the Euro 2020 football championships.
"F1 is one of biggest sporting events in the world, after only the Olympic Games and World Cup," he says.
"We are confident we will show the world a top-quality race," Arif Rahimov, the Baku Grand Prix chief executive, said.
Baku is following a path that is well trodden. Emerging markets from China to Singapore, Abu Dhabi and, most recently, Russia have all sought to use F1 as a vehicle for demonstrating openness to investment and foreign visitors, the article says.
Rahimov declined to reveal how much Baku planned to spend on the circuit and infrastructure, or the cost of the right to stage the race.
Robin Fenwick, chief executive of Right Formula, an F1 marketing company, stresses the benefits.
"A Grand Prix brings a global television audience, sponsorship from international brands, tourism potential, as well as stimulating other forms of investment," he said.