Azerbaijani government confirms F1 race deal

The Azerbaijani government has announced it has signed an official agreement for Baku to host a Formula One race from the 2016 season of the motor-racing championship.

Ministry of Youth and Sports spokesperson Samaya Mammadova told Azeri news agency Trend that a deal has been reached with Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone for a race to be held on the streets of Baku, which will host the inaugural edition of the European Games multi-sport event in 2015. The hosting deal, understood to be 10 years in length, was brokered by international sports consultant Andrew Craig, former IndyCar CEO.

Ecclestone has recently admitted his interest in taking Formula One to Azerbaijan, with Baku having experience in hosting international motorsport events. Azerbaijan’s capital staged the final race of the 2013 GT Series season on a street circuit from November 22-24.

The event will reportedly be entitled the European Grand Prix – a designation that has been unused since the Spanish city of Valencia’s race deal ended in 2012.