F1: Azerbaijan confirms European GP for 2016

The Formula 1 field, seen here during the 2014 German GP at Hockenheim, will make its first visit to Azerbaijan in 2016.

PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images

Oil-rich Azerbaijan has confirmed that it will host the European Grand Prix beginning in 2016, rather than next year, as had been mooted.

Plans for an F1 street race in Baku, which has hosted GT events, were first made public in March this year.

“I am delighted to officially announce that we have signed a contract to bring Formula One racing to Baku in 2016,” said minister for youth and sport Azad Rahimov. “The deal to bring Formula One racing to Baku is a very significant new chapter in our ongoing success to attract the world’s largest sporting events to our country.”

Baku hosted a non-championship GT street race in 2012, organised by the Berlin-based City Challenge organization. Last year it was the venue of the final round of the FIA GT championship, utilizing a longer 2.7 mile track. Hermann Tilke is behind the new F1 layout.