Azerbaijan grand prix contract extended to 2026

·2 min read

The Azerbaijan grand prix will remain on the Formula 1 calendar until at least the end of 2026 after inking a new three-year deal.

Except 2020 due to the pandemic, the Baku race has been a mainstay of the calendar since its debut in 2016, then with the European Grand Prix moniker, and has established itself as one of the sport’s most popular street circuits for its quirky mixed-speed layout and unpredictable results.

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No driver has won in Baku more than once and only Charles Leclerc has taken more than one pole position.

“The Baku City Circuit has become a hugely popular venue for Formula 1,” F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said. “It is an incredible circuit which always delivers huge drama and has played host to some of the most exciting races in recent memory.

“We are delighted to extend our relationship with the country of Azerbaijan and look forward to continuing our growth together.”

This year Azerbaijan is hosting its first sprint round and the first of six sprints for the season.

The circuit is also the first to trial the tweaked sprint rules that have carved out Saturday as a standalone day featuring sprint-specific qualifying sessions ahead of the 62-mile sprint race.

The new format, combined with the sport’s booming worldwide popularity, has seen the race sell an unprecedented number of tickets this year, according to Azerbaijan youth and sport minister Farid Gayibov.

“Today’s agreement has come during a weekend that sees us hosting a record number of fans from over 100 countries, which only serves to make this moment even more special,” he said.

“The Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix is a source of great pride for the whole country.

“Ever since we first hosted this event in 2016, the economic, social, and cultural impact of the sport on our city and country has been remarkable.

“The past six races have been some of the best and most dramatic in the sport’s long history and we look forward to creating more magical moments for F1 fans at home and abroad over the next three years – starting with this weekend.”

Story originally appeared on Racer