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 joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again Prime

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future Prime

Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Prime

How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbon fibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Prime

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Wind tunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as Pat Symonds explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics.

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Prime

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Prime

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021