Azerbaijan GP labels current F1 deal as ‘unacceptable’

Azerbaijan Grand Prix promoters will seek better terms when they negotiate a new deal with F1 this year, considering their current contract as “unacceptable”.

Baku hosted its first race on the historic city streets in 2016, having struck a deal at the time with former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Youth and Sports, is planning to stage talks with Liberty Media after the 2018 race in April.

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“Within three months after the Grand Prix, we must give an answer to the leadership of Formula 1 about whether we will extend the contract for another five years until 2025,” he told Tass news agency.

“Everyone understands that the contract we have now is unacceptable. I think the new leadership of Formula 1 understands that as well,” Rahimov added.

“We are talking about a number of commercial conditions, sponsorship rights and the price that we pay,” he continued.

“But I think both ourselves and the leadership of formula one have the desire to leave the race here.”

Last year, Liberty Media president and CEO Greg Maffei dismissed the Baku event, claiming the race did not contribute to the overall growth of F1 and suggesting its high fee was the only reason for F1’s presence in the country.

Needless to say, Baku’s promoters were unimpressed…

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