The Baku European Grand Prix will take place in 2016 and Tuesday’s event saw Mr Ecclestone and Minister Rahimov presenting the layout of the street circuit that will see Formula One cars racing through the streets of Baku on F1’s newest track.
Bernie Ecclestone: “Azerbaijan is the latest addition to the Formula One calendar and I am pleased to see they have designed an innovative new street circuit that will definitely help to create a world class event when we race there in 2016.”
Azad Rahimov: “This is a very exciting milestone for everybody involved in the Baku European Grand Prix and I would like to thank Mr Ecclestone for taking the time out of his very busy schedule to come and help us unveil the newest F1 circuit to join the world’s most exciting sport.
“We have been working very closely on the circuit layout with Hermann Tilke and his team since early 2013. Our brief to Tilke Engineering was simple - create a circuit that is unique, one that will help the Grand Prix in Baku quickly establish itself as one of the most exciting, thrilling venues on the F1 calendar, and one that the fans and teams alike are excited about. Most importantly, we wanted a track that would showcase the best of Baku, our capital city, and I am delighted that the circuit the F1 teams will race on in 2016 has achieved exactly that aim.
“Now the next phase of hard work begins and we are all excited about seeing the circuit evolve over the coming months. We know there will be challenges, but with the support of Mr Ecclestone, Tilke Engineering and everyone involved in helping to create F1’s newest Grand Prix, we know we will deliver a spectacular event in 2016 that will add to Azerbaijan’s well-earned reputation as a modern European country that is the perfect venue for the planet’s highest profile sports and entertainment events.”
Hermann Tilke, CEO Tilke Engineering: “I am absolutely thrilled about the Baku European Grand Prix project and delighted we can now unveil the track design. We have created a challenging street circuit, in terms of engineering and design, and one that thrives on Baku's very attractive urban atmosphere and its great combination of history and 21st century style. The historic city centre, the beautiful seaside promenade and the impressive government house all combine to provide the perfect backdrop for a spectacular new track.
“Obviously street circuits present a number of challenges, in terms of circuit design, but we have been able to incorporate some unique features that will provide the teams and fans with fascinating racing. For example, there will be an extremely narrow uphill section at the old town wall that will reward pinpoint accuracy and courage, and we have an acceleration section of almost 2.2 kilometres along the promenade which will see the cars running flat out at very high top speeds - something that will create an incredible spectacle for the race fans on track and the viewers at home.”
Anar Alakbarov, Executive Director of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the president of Azerbaijan Automobile Federation was also present at today’s event. Mr Alakbarov said: “Formula One, the world's fastest motorsport championship is already very popular in Azerbaijan as a spectator sport. We are deeply honoured by the privilege awarded to us by the Formula One family in welcoming us to their party and enabling us to host the Baku European Grand Prix in 2016.
“We are also confident that hosting this Grand Prix will act as a catalyst for the sport of Formula One in our country and I expect youngsters throughout the city will be so impressed by this spectacular event taking place on their doorstep that dreams of becoming the first Azerbaijani Formula One world champion will take root.”