Our Society 22 march — 13:50

Azerbaijan cancels Formula 1 Grand Prix

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BY ELMIR ALIYEV, SPORTS SECTION

During a telephone conference with the participation of the Formula 1 management, the International Motorsport Federation (FIA), race organisers and sponsors, the Azerbaijani side stated that it prefers to refuse to host the Azerbaijan Grand Prix scheduled for 7 June, Azeri Daily reports with reference to Motorsport.

With the cancellation of all the March, April and May stages, the race in Baku was supposed to be the first of the season, but the promoters of the Grand Prix of Azerbaijan expressed their concerns about coronavirus. For the organisers of Formula 1, this is another blow and a serious financial loss, since Baku pays one of the highest prices for the race. F-1 has already lost about $200 million due to the cancellation of races, writes the Polish edition of Sportowe Fakty.

Azerbaijan explained its desire to cancel the June race by the fact that the preparation of the city track should begin in April. This process is expensive, and if you later cancel the race, the money will be wasted. Another city route is given as an example: the Monaco Grand Prix, which was to be held on 24 May, has also been cancelled and will not be organised this year.

The Canadian Grand Prix, which was supposed to take place a week after Baku, is also in question.

Recall that earlier stages in Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam, China, Holland and Spain were also cancelled. Moreover, the race in Melbourne and Shanghai, as well as in Monaco, will no longer take place. The remaining cancelled stages, the F-1 management was planning to squeeze into the calendar later. After Azerbaijan and Canada, the competitions were to be held in France (28 June), Austria (5 July), Great Britain (19 July), Spain (26 July), Hungary (2 August), Holland (23 August), Belgium (30 August) , Italy (6 September), Singapore (20 September), Russia (27 September), Vietnam (4 or 18 October), Japan (11 October), USA (25 October), Mexico (1 November), Brazil (15 November), Bahrain (29 November) and the UAE (6 December).

Now two questions arise: will Azerbaijan want to hold the race at other dates? And if so, will Formula 1 find a place on the calendar for the Grand Prix of Azerbaijan?

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