Azerbaijan asks Liberty for better deal from 2021

The Azerbaijan GP organisers have asked Formula 1 chiefs for a reduction in the race sanction fee it pays from 2021 onwards.

Azerbaijan asks Liberty for better deal from 2021

The event currently pays one of the biggest fees of any race on the calendar, a move that was necessary to convince Bernie Ecclestone to give it his blessing and convince the F1 teams that Baku would be financially worthwhile.

Ecclestone agreed a 10-year deal, with a break clause after five years.

Having run three races thus far, Azerbaijan is committed to the current arrangements for the next two years, which will see out the first half of the original contract.

However, it wants to have a more favourable deal for the second five-year term from 2021 to 2025.

The push for a better price comes in the wake of a similar move from Hockenheim, whose contract to host the German GP in alternate seasons ends this year, and the news that the Miami GP will have a new style of risk and revenue sharing deal.

"We have a contract which is a binding contract for five years, for five races, starting in 2016," said Azerbaijan promoter Arif Rahimov. "Neither of us can break it unless we agree to break it.

"We haven't triggered the break clause. We're negotiating on the second part of the contract. We all know we need to improve bits, so we're trying hard to make sure that it's good for us and good for F1."

Since Liberty came on board, more information about what races pay has emerged, and thus promoters have a better idea of what other events typically pay,

"In general we want to be close to the average. Now that it's public information I think everyone knows what the average is," added Rahimov.

"You have a few outliers to remove from both ends, statistically speaking, but obviously we want to be close in that mid-range of flyaway races.

"We cannot just take the average of all the races, because European races pay less for a lot of reasons, starting from logistics and cost of operation etc.

"But we do definitely want to be there in the average of the flyaway races, That's not the only thing we're discussing with FOM, it's most of the other commercial terms in the contract too. They want to try a new approach, it's a bi-lateral effort to make it viable for all of us.

"We will try to get it sorted before the end of June, so I think we'll come to some agreement. Obviously I'm asking for an improvement which is eating into their profits, it's quite obvious."

Rahimov was keen to dispel rumours that the arrival of the Miami GP in 2019 could lead to Azerbaijan being dropped to make way, with some even suggesting that the Baku pit and paddock infrastructure would be shipped to Florida.

"If Miami comes in it can come in and all the other races can stay there. It's up to 22 races anyways.

"I think it was just a rumour, I don't know how this rumour got spread, because it made no sense from the beginning. I guess they're going to release the draft calendar this month of next month.

"We're going to be in this calendar, and I guess it's going to sort out most of the questions."

Azerbaijan is also keen to return to June in 2019 after this year's race was switched to April.

"We want to move back to June. It takes us a while to set up the circuit, it takes us three or four months, and if we are in April we have to start in the winter, and you have adverse weather, rain and wind and everything that stops you working efficiently, so we definitely want to move it to June."

shares
comments
Blasting around Monaco in a classic Williams
Previous article

Blasting around Monaco in a classic Williams

Next article

Monaco's craziest ever Formula 1 tech ideas

Monaco's craziest ever Formula 1 tech ideas
Load comments
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Prime

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
Qatar's long-term plans for a "World Cup every single year" Prime

Qatar's long-term plans for a "World Cup every single year"

Qatar is preparing to host the football World Cup next year, but will be thrown into the sporting spotlight this weekend as Formula 1 prepares to race in the country. Ahead of a 10-year deal to hold a grand prix from 2023 onwards, it's a much-needed opportunity to highlight reforms in the country

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2021