Baku City Circuit (BCC), promoter of the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, today welcomed the CEO & Executive Chairman of the Formula 1 Group, Chase Carey, to the 2019 Conference on the Benefits of Hosting Major Sports Events (BHMSE) at Baku’s Fairmont Hotel, located within the city’s iconic Flame Towers.
The day’s proceedings got off to a great start when Mr. Carey was joined by Azad Rahimov, Minister of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Azerbaijan, to put pen to paper on a three-year contract extension that will see the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix remain on the F1 calendar until 2023. With the current agreement up for renewal in 2020, today’s announcement was welcomed by all parties and ensures that one of the most popular races in Formula 1 will continue to excite motorsport fans around the world for the foreseeable future.
Speaking afterwards, Mr. Rahimov celebrated the extension of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix’s contract with F1: “This is a truly proud day for all of us. The last few years have been a dream come true for the people of Baku as we have seen our race weekend grow from a simple idea into one of the most dramatic and exciting race weekends in F1’s history. Already, we have played host to some of the sport’s most iconic moments. Furthermore, every year we have seen more and more fans from all over the world attend the race and have been overwhelmed at how well our event has been embraced by the global Formula 1 community. I would also like to extend my special gratitude to Mr. Carey and everyone at Formula 1 for proving themselves to be such great friends to our race. This new agreement will allow our race to maximise its commercial revenues through increased fan-engagement activities and a brand-new sponsorship approach to engage our local and regional businesses with Formula 1’s global platform. With these exciting opportunities in mind, extending our contract was never in question and we are delighted to stay in this wonderful sport for another 5 years at least.”
Chase Carey, also commented: “We are very pleased to have renewed this agreement which will see the Azerbaijan Grand Prix feature on the Formula 1 World Championship calendar for many years to come. In just a short space of time, this race has become one of the most popular of the season, always producing closely fought and spectacular racing. The Republic of Azerbaijan provides a really excellent welcome to everyone in Formula 1 and the beautiful city of Baku is an amazing backdrop for the greatest motor racing show in the world. All fans of our sport should make a note in the diary for the 28th April, the date of the FORMULA 1 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX 2019.”
Also representing the sport’s governing body alongside Mr. Carey, was Formula 1’s Senior Manager of Promoters and Business Relations, Emily Prazer. She was joined by BCC’s Executive Director, Arif Rahimov, CEO of the Azerbaijan Tourism Board, Florian Sengstschmid and Heineken International’s Sponsorship Lead for Formula 1 & Formula E, Ben Pincus. Together they formed a lively and highly experienced panel discussing the beneficial impact of hosting major sporting events in new markets and the Formula 1’s position as a global brand platform.
The symposium, organized in association with the American Chamber of Commerce in Azerbaijan – now in its third year– was attended by over 200 delegates and also featured stellar contributions from high-profile representatives including key figures from within the Azerbaijani government as well as its business, technology and travel industries.
All speakers also participated in a lively and engaging Q&A session with delegates and attending media.