Azerbaijan to host 2016 European Grand Prix

Wednesday 30th April 2014, 20:26 by TF1T Staff 

Baku City Challenge

The European Grand Prix will make a return in 2016 according to Azerbaijan's minister of youth and sports, Azad Rahimov, who claims the capital city of Baku will host the event.

A race in the former Soviet republican country has floated around for several years, with a deal nearly coming to fruition in 2012. However Rahimov says that will now happen in 2016 and a deal has been signed with Bernie Ecclestone.

"We have signed the deal with Bernie Ecclestone and will announce it officially with an event in Baku shortly," he told Inside the Games.

It isn't clear whether the race will be held on the streets of Baku or on a new permanent facility near the city.

In 2012 the city hosted the Baku City Challenge on a 1.33-mile street circuit, whilst in the same year it held the finale of the FIA GT Series on a 2.72-mile circuit.

Neither are long enough to host an F1 race, nor do they meet the strict FIA Grade 1 standard required. It's therefore likely a new route with major safety upgrades would be required.

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