Following the announcement by Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa (Bahraini Ambassador to the UK) that Bahrain had been selected to organize the inaugural Baku Grand Prix in 2016, a senior team representing the Bahrain Motorsport Federation and the Bahrain Marshals Club has made its first visit to Baku.
Baku City Circuit (BCC) signed an agreement with the Bahrain Motorsport Federation (BMF) bringing them onboard the organising team of the Baku GP. Azerbaijan Automobile Federation (AAF) will support this partnership and will take its role on regulating on-track sporting operations. It is reported that the arrangement will include training on F1-related sporting operations, organisation of fire, rescue and medical on-track services, race control and recruitment and selection of marshals.
Senior Bahraini race officials have reviewed and scrutinised the street circuit alongside BCC and AAF specialists (photos by @rashedalzayani)
“The Grand Prix of Europe is designed to be the most unique event ever held in Azerbaijan in many respects. It will be the fastest F1 street circuit on the calendar that will deliver a spectacular event to a global audience of around 500-million people. The insights gained by our team from the Bahraini experts will be invaluable for the further months of planning and preparations that lie ahead for Baku City Circuit. The Bahrain Motorsport Federation has set a world-class standard for sporting operations and organisational excellence, and our team fully intends to meet that standard,” commented Arif Rahimov, Chief Executive Officer of the Baku City Circuit.
Baku European Grand Prix operations head Chingiz Mehdiyev, says: “Because it is within the city I think the race will be just fantastic. The race will go along the seaside and also, it has a unique part of the track”
“It will go all around the Old City, which is a Unesco heritage area, which involves very stiff turns, inclines and declines. So I think it will be a challenge for the drivers.”
With regards to attendance and facilities, Managing Director of Bahrain-based MRK1 Consulting, Mark Hughes says: “The final grandstand configurations are yet to be finalised but they (organisers) are aiming for a capacity of around 50,000. The best hotels are the Four Seasons, Hilton and Marriott. All of which are on the track”