Baku confident F1 debut will go ahead as planned


The organisers of the 2016 Grand Prix of Europe in Baku have rejected reports the race could be postponed due to the state of the Azerbaijani economy.

With falling gas and oil prices affecting the Azerbaijani currency, reports emerged that the event - due to take place on June 19 - could be in jeopardy.

However, organisers have refuted those claims and remain confident the Grand Prix of Europe will take place as planned.

"The devaluation of the manat will have no impact with regards to the staging of the first ever Formula One race in Azerbaijan," Baku City Council (BCC) said in a statement.

"When the budget for the Grand Prix of Europe was approved, it was initially calculated in US dollars. As a result, we are not expecting any changes to the current event budget.

"BCC shares the concerns of everyone at the current devaluation of our national currency. BCC also accepts that staging such a major event requires a significant financial outlay.

"However, we would once again stress that the overall economic impact, both short- and long-term, direct and indirect, created by staging an F1 race will be of huge benefit to the national economy.

"The impact of increased tourism and direct visitor spending that will be injected into Baku area business establishments such as restaurants, bars, hotels and retailers will see millions, if not more, pumped into the economy."