Baku, Azerbaijan, May 1
By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:
Baku City Circuit Operations company (BCC) has confirmed that 85,000 Formula 1 fans attended the racing action and night concerts at the FORMULA 1 SOCAR AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX 2019 over the course of four days at the fourth successive street race to be hosted in the Azerbaijani capital.
Ticket sales matched those of 2018 with the slight drop in attendance from last year attributable mostly to the late cancelation of Sam Smith’s headlining performance on Saturday evening and the lack of a Friday night concert.
International visitor numbers were once again very positive with guests arriving from over 74 countries, accounting for nearly a quarter of all ticket sales (22%) - to witness what turned out to be a tale of redemption for Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas as he banished his haunting loss from last year to dominate from the first corner and finish ahead of his teammate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel respectively. With all grandstands sold out, his victory was cheered by an audience with very fresh memories of his misfortune in 2018.
The majority of international visitors came from the following countries: Russia, UK, Austria, Holland and Georgia.
BCC’s Head of Commercia Bulent Ozerdim commented on the attendance figures on May 1, “We have made significant progress over the past four years in hosting this spectacular F1 race weekend in Azerbaijan. We are particularly happy to see that our race has become a destination event for F1’s core fanbase, with a strong increase in visitors from key European markets this year. For instance, the number of fans from the UK rose by a huge 41%, from Austria by 28% and from the Netherlands by 26%. In addition, this year we have also seen a surge in visitors from China (+22%) and Turkey (+11%) proving that our amazing race weekend is steadily becoming a chosen fly-away destination for true F1 fans. All grandstand tickets were sold out and overall ticket sales were equal to 2018 in spite of the lack of a third headline music act – something we will address for next year – and Sam Smith’s late cancelation. We are enormously encouraged by the fact that our local fan base is growing year-on-year and in particular appears to be resonating with the country’s youth. I believe we now have all the pieces in place to grow from this position of strength and continue to deliver another incredible F1 race weekend for the fans in 2020.”
While the 2019 race was not quite as dramatic as in the previous two years, fans were still treated to a highly eventful and action packed weekend on track which included one of the most incident laden Qualifying sessions and F2 races in recent memory.
Away from the track, the FORMULA 1 SOCAR AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX 2019 also delivered with a stellar line-up of post-racing concerts by two of the biggest stars from the world of music who took to the stage in Baku’s magnificent Crystal Hall: Jessie J, who performed a stunning set of her biggest hits on Saturday night and Cardi B, who closed out the weekend with her electric live show.