Good news for race fans is the expansion of the calendar which will see F1 racing on 21 of the 52 weekends of the year in 2016. With Germany’s return one reason for the record-breaking calendar, the other is the addition of a new race around the streets of Baku in Azerbaijan.
Let me add a quick disclaimer: Formula One races in many locations around the world where there are political issues, but the focus here is solely on a new track and a new race. Admittedly, calling itself the Grand Prix of Europe is a bit of a stretch, but Baku is promising to deliver the fastest street circuit on the calendar, predicting top speeds of 340kph.
With the circuit coming in at over six kilometres long, it will incorporate sections around Baku’s old town - Icheri Sheher - and is also set to feature a flat-out section of over two kilometres along the seaside promenade. With some very narrow portions of track too, the ingredients are there for a spectacular race, but then the same could have been said about Valencia…