Baku rules out F1 race date swap with Turkish GP

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix has ruled out a date swap with Turkey to help resolve Formula 1’s current travel headache due to its Euro 2020 hosting commitments.

Turkey was added to the 2021 calendar as a replacement for the cancelled Canadian Grand Prix at the end of April, taking the June 13 date slot, one week after the Azerbaijan race in Baku.

But fresh doubts were raised of the race after Turkey was added to the UK’s ‘red list’ for travel, meaning anyone returning to the UK would have to complete a 10-day quarantine in a government-approved hotel. 

One suggested solution was a date swap for Azerbaijan and Turkey, ensuring that UK-based staff would be able to spend enough time outside of Turkey before returning home to avoid the 10-day quarantine.

But Baku City Circuit executive director Arif Rahimov said a date swap was not feasible given Baku would be hosting a UEFA Euro 2020 match the following weekend.

Wales will play Switzerland at the Olympic Stadium in Baku on 12 June, in the first of five games the city will host of the delayed football tournament.

“There were talks, but in our case, our race weekend is really fixed,” Rahimov told select media including Motorsport.com in a media briefing on Wednesday.

“It was kind of squeezed in-between all the other events happening in the city, because the football is still going ahead.

“The first game will be on June 12, which is on the Saturday following the race weekend. So there is not much that we can do in terms of we’re not very flexible this year.

“I guess if it was any other year where we’re the only major event on the calendar of Baku, then yeah, that could have been an option. But not this year.”

Read Also:

F1 is still evaluating options for the Turkish Grand Prix and potential replacements, including the staging of an additional event at one of the existing European rounds.

Azerbaijan will return to the F1 calendar this year following the cancellation of last year’s race due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but announced in March that it would run the race without spectators. 

Rahimov explained that the organisers in Baku were left with “doing 40% of the work” due to the sizeable number of fan events typically put on surrounding the race.

“We’ve done so many things for them in previous years, all the entertainments along the promenade,” Rahimov said.

“We’ve done concerts, we usually do three concerts every year, just for the race, doing afterparties, and pit lane walks, you name it, there’s a lot of stuff to be done for the spectators, which we’re not doing this year.

“The only thing left is obviously taking care of things during the pandemic, and making sure that everyone is safe. That corresponds to people working for the circuit, like our contractors and all the stakeholders.

“For that, we’re taking the usual precautions, wearing masks, personal hygiene, all those things mandated by WHO and in our country.

“I wouldn’t say it’s complicated. It’s just different, unfortunately to the worse side.”

shares
comments

Related video

Why F1’s flexi wing tricks are a never ending problem for the FIA
Previous article

Why F1’s flexi wing tricks are a never ending problem for the FIA

Next article

Perez: Compressed practice time hindering 2021 progress

Perez: Compressed practice time hindering 2021 progress
Load comments
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver 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...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
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