Formula 1’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix will remain on the calendar until 2024, event organisers have confirmed, and say this year’s race date is fixed, ruling out a mooted swap with Turkey.
Baku City Circuit joined Formula 1 in 2016 and in early 2019 a new three-year deal was confirmed through 2023.
The event was not held in 2020 due to the pandemic and as a consequence that contract now covers the 2024 season.
Formula 1 will return to the streets of Baku next month, albeit behind closed doors, for the first time since April 2019.
“It’s important for us as a country to show that we’re kind of en route of getting done with covid and bringing the country out of this pandemic,” said BCC Executive Director Arif Rahimov.
“I think different countries are trying to this and trying to show to the world with different events and different things they do.
“For us in Baku, and Azerbaijan, it was very important to show it with the events we have planned, we’re doing them.
“Obviously we are not doing them as they were prior to Covid but we’re still doing them, and we’ll get there next year’ I hope it will be a full on event with the spectators and with the concerts etc.
“I think that’s the right message to send to the world that we’re organised, we’re are fighting this season, and we’re en route of going back to normal.”
This year’s Azerbaijan round, scheduled for June 6, is due to be the first of a back-to-back event with the Turkish Grand Prix, planned for June 13.
However there are now severe doubts over Turkey’s grand prix owing to the country being placed on the United Kingdom’s red list.
That means anyone returning to the United Kingdom would have to carry out 10-day quarantine in a government-approved hotel.
One suggested proposal was for Azerbaijan and Turkey to swap dates, giving personnel an extra seven-day window after Turkey, but Rahimov outlined that this is not possible due to Baku’s status as a host city for the postponed Euro 2020 tournament.
The city is due to host five matches, the first of which will be Wales vs Switzerland, on June 12.
“There were talks, but in our case, firstly our race weekend is really fixed, it was kind of squeezed in between all the other events in the city,” he said.
“Football is still going ahead, and the first game is on Saturday 12th, so there’s not much we can do, we’re not very flexible this year.
“I guess if it was any other year, when we are the only major event on Baku’s calendar that [a swap] could have been an option, but not this year.”