Baku reveals window to hold rescheduled 2020 F1 race with fans

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Formula 1 has a roughly six-week window to host a rescheduled Azerbaijan Grand Prix this year.

Originally set for June 7, the event on the streets of Baku became one of 10 to be postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus, with Austria now set to start the season on July 5.

Previously, Baku City Circuit director Arif Rahimov suggested the GP would only go ahead if an Australia-style scenario was off the table, but he also remains hopeful to be part of the new schedule.

“We are in close contact with the Government of Azerbaijan, F1 and other stakeholders,” he told

“At this moment in time, while we are keen to host a race in 2020, we obviously can’t commit to running the race later in the year until the situation with COVID-19 becomes clearer, and the world returns back to close to how we remember it prior to the pandemic.

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“We have agreed with F1 that the race should not be postponed until after mid-October.

“We truly care about our fans and value their experience so we would want them to be able to enjoy amazing weather in Baku during the race weekend.”

That would fit in with proposals put forward by F1 boss Chase Carey last week which would see Eurasia host races in September as the sport gradually shifted East from Europe.

The complication for the Azerbaijan GP though is the time needed to build the track which winds through the old part of the city and around the government building.

However, Rahimov does believe the usual construction time can be reduced slightly to accommodate a new date.

“If we were in a position to hold the race in a period between early/mid-September to mid-October, then I would be very positive that we can achieve this target, given the fact that most of the construction work would be completed in the summer," he said.

“The fact that we are running the race on the streets of the city adds to the complication – as it does to any street circuit. As such, it would ideally be great to try to run the race before the schools restart after the summer break on September 15th.”

Fears over disruption though mean any F1 race in Baku would have to follow the same format as any other year, ruling out any thoughts of a double-header.

“In the event that we can stage a race this year, we certainly do not expect to make any changes to the race format, and this has never been discussed with F1,” he explained.

“I also don’t believe it would be possible to run races in Baku over several weekends as it would involve causing too much inconvenience to our residents due to the fact that the circuit is located right in the heart of the city.”