Baku City Circuit (BCC) today announced that 71,541 Formula 1 fans - old and new - attended the 2017 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the second successive street race to be hosted in the Azerbaijani capital.
This figure represents a 30% increase in ticket sales from the inaugural 2016 event in F1’s newest market. Furthermore, international visitor numbers for the race week were up 100% from last year with guests arriving from over 65 different countries to witness what turned out to be one of the most dramatic and memorable races in recent memory. Indeed, international fans accounted for a third of all overall ticket sales.
Fans certainly weren’t disappointed as Baku City Circuit played host to a race so thrilling it will live long in the memory of everyone present as well as the millions of people watching on television across the globe. Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo secured his first win of the 2017 season with a stunning drive. Mercedes AMG Petronas’ Valtteri Bottas lived up to the title of ‘Flying Finn’ when he fought his way back from the back of the pack to surge past Williams Martini Racing’s Lance Stroll just before the young Canadian was about to cross the Finish line to secure second place. However, regardless of being pushed back to third place at the death, in many ways the day belonged to Williams’ talented Rookie driver who secured his first podium finish in his debut season in the sport – the youngest driver to ever do so.
Away from the podium, there was no shortage of intense drama and intrigue as this season’s two frontrunners Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton clashed - quite literally - in a hugely controversial incident that will be debated for the rest of the year and beyond. There were further battles and collisions between teammates – Force India’s high-flying pair in particular – while Baku fan favourite and former race Ambassador, Fernando Alonso, picked up his and McLaren Honda’s first points of the season with a ninth place finish. This race really had it all.
Away from the track, the 2017 FORMULA 1 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX also delivered on all fronts with an incredible line-up of nightly post-racing concerts by some of the biggest stars from the world of music who took to the Main Stage on BCC’s magnificent boulevard Fan Zone. On Friday night, popular Turkish singer Tarkan, took to the stage to delight his many fans in the region with an energetic and passionate performance. The next day saw global superstars Nicole Scherzinger and The Black Eyed Peas deliver two high-octane live shows before the race weekend was closed out on Sunday night by one of the world’s most successful and legendary music stars of all time, Mariah Carey, who performed a magnificent concert to round up an incredible weekend of racing and entertainment.
#AzerbaijanGP Takes Over Social Media
So exciting and unpredictable was last weekend’s F1 street race in Baku, that it was a topic of near constant discussion on social media before, during and after the event.
Countless posts reacting to the incredible events that unfolded on the fastest street circuit in F1 were shared throughout the weekend and beyond with the #AzerbaijanGP hashtag trending for days amongst nearly 10 million Twitter users. During the race itself, #AzerbaijanGP was the most shared hashtag on Twitter for 3 hours straight.
Speaking after the 2017 FORMULA 1 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX, BCC’s Executive Director, Arif Rahimov, praised the success of the second F1 race in Baku and immediately looked ahead to next year’s installment in April, 2018:
“It is hard to describe how proud I am to have been a part of this amazing race weekend. To witness such a marked increase in fans from both home and abroad coming to the race this year was a clear sign of the great progress we are making in building a strong and lasting F1 culture here in Azerbaijan.
We were confident that we would put on an incredible show for all our visiting fans as well as the many people watching at home, but even so, we could not have predicted quite how unbelievable this race would turn out to be. Baku City Circuit has delivered on its promise to be one of the most exciting tracks in F1 with this race - one I am sure people will not forget in a hurry. To have also been able to add the likes of Tarkan, Nicole Scherzinger, The Black Eyed Peas and Mariah Carey to the weekend’s entertainment offering was truly the icing on the cake.
I am extremely grateful to my amazing team and our many partners for their hard work, dedication and passion as well as to the entire F1 community who have embraced our city, circuit and race with open arms.
We certainly won’t be resting on our laurels though and can’t wait to get started on our plans for 2018 when the race will be staged in late April. If this year was anything to go by, you do not want to miss out next season!”