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Azerbaijan Grand Prix Braces For Return After Last Year's Postponement

By Timucin Turksoy January 16, 2021

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The State Philharmonic Hall and the Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan. / Formula1.Com

Azerbaijan and Russia have been featured in the Formula 1 Schedule 2021, which was first released in November and then updated on January 12. The sixth and fifteenth races on the calendar are slated for Azerbaijan and Russia, respectively.

Arif Rahimov, Executive Director at the Baku City Circuit (BCC), which is the organizing partner of Formula 1 in Azerbaijan, said the world’s fastest motorsport race will be back on the streets of Baku on June 4-6. According to him, the management of BCC is currently considering scenarios to host the grand prix, including the possibility of fans’ watching the race live.

In June 2017, Azerbaijan played a host to the first F1 race, dubbed Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The next episodes of the race in the country took place in April 2018 and April 2019. Last year’s tournament was postponed following a joint decision by the officials at BCC, FIA, and the government of Azerbaijan due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

The Baku City Circuit racetrack runs through several major streets of Baku, close to the main promenade along the Caspian Sea. Along with many long straights that make it the “fastest street circuit in the world,” the Baku circuit challenges the drivers with a very narrow section located next to the walls of the Old City – the historical core of Baku dated back at least to the 1st-century. Measured 6.003 kilometers in length, the Baku City Circuit is the second-longest route on the current F1 calendar behind the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps (7.004km) in Belgium.

In neighboring Russia, the race is scheduled to take place on September 26 in the country’s largest resort city of Sochi, where Russia’s only 5,848-meter long racetrack is located. Meanwhile, last year’s postponement of the series of grand prix did not include the race in Sochi. On September 25-27, the city hosted the seventeenth round of the speed-packed claimed by Finnish pilot Valtteri Bottas.

This year’s F1 calendar kicks off on March 28 in Bahrain. The 23-race Formula 1 season – the longest in the sport’s 71-year history – wraps up in the capital Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates on December 12.