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And The Oscar Goes To … Baku!

By Nargiz Mammadli March 7, 2018

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Baku is bracing for the next F1 Grand Prix on April 27-29, 2018 / Formula1.Com

The 90th Academy Awards this past weekend recognized some of the biggest achievements in the film world, but the spirit of the Oscars went beyond cinema.

Formula 1, known worldwide for its top-notch global racecar competitions, had their own Oscars ceremony also on March 4, recognizing the best of the best in the 2017 racing season. Official social network pages affiliated with the Formula 1 brand announced the winners of an online competition.

“Time for the big one... Best Picture: the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, an action-packed thriller for the ages,” read the Formula 1’s official Twitter feed, giving the top prize to the race held in the Caspian country that will host its third F1 Grand Prix next month. Last year the race was held from June 23-25.

The award-winning picture from the world’s ultimate motorsport championship in Baku featured an episode where Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel came to blows with the legendary Lewis Hamilton, from Mercedes-Benz. Vettel’s $7.5 million Ferrari racecar gently hit his rival’s vehicle on one of the turns, but escaped the scene with a dangerous maneuver and his hands up to rebuke Hamilton, whom he believed was breaking the rules.

“Formula 1 named the best picture of 2017. There were no other options: in the nomination for "Best Picture," the exciting, dramatic, unpredictable and insane race in Baku uniquely won,” Nigar Arpadarai, a spokesperson for the Baku City Circuit wrote on her Facebook page.

Other winners of the Formula 1 Oscars include the Singapore Grand Prix race for the Best Visual Effect; and Red Bull team’s Daniel Ricciardo, for Best Director for a video shot during the Italian Grand Prix. Sebastian Vetten’s joyful “ba, ba, babum, babum” chanting in exchange via radio with his crew during last year’s Mexico Grand Prix would have fetched him the Best Original Score prize.

Felipe Massa from the Williams team, who confirmed his retirement following the 2017 season, took the Lifetime Achievement Award. Force India team’s 2017 livery was chosen for the Best Costume Design; and Hollywood veteran Patrick Stewart won the Best Actor in a Supporting Role award for his buoyant accompaniment of Daniele Ricciardo at the winner podium, in the Canadian race.

In 2014, the Azerbaijani government signed a 10-year contract with the Federación Internacional del Automóvil. The next and third race for the western Caspian country will take place from April 27-29.

The Azerbaijan City Circuit is considered one of the best racecourses in the world. It is F1’s second-longest, measuring slightly over six km (3.73 mi) that stretches along some of the city’s most visited areas, including the UNESCO-protected Icherisheher, or Old City, Freedom Square, Government House, Maiden Tower and the Caspian promenade.