Azerbaijan will happen in 2016 says Ecclestone


24 hours after confirming that Mexico returns to the F1 schedule in 2015, Bernie Ecclestone says that Azerbaijan will happen in 2016.

"Baku is for 2016," he told Forbes, referring to the capital of the oil-rich country which sits at the crossroads of western Asia and eastern Europe.

Should the current 19 races remain on the calendar, and ignoring India's proposed return to the schedule, the addition of Mexico in 2015 and now Azerbaijan would bring the 2016 calendar up to 21 races, the most in the sport's history and over and above the agreed limit according to the Concorde Agreement.

With a number of teams (Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull) having it written into their commercial agreements with Formula One that if the schedule exceeds 20 races it would require majority consent, the only other option would be to drop one of the current races, most likely a European event.

To further confuse the situation, now widely written off, Ecclestone says that the proposed race in the New Jersey towns of West New York and Weehawken, which has been deferred more times than most care to remember, has raised its head again.

"Somebody said to me the other day that New Jersey seem to have got their act together now and that they have got the money and are all in good shape," he told Forbes. "Whether or not that is true I don't know. The soonest it could come on the calendar is 2016."

Chris Balfe

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Published: 24/07/2014
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