Miami won't replace Azerbaijan, but Baku wants better deal


Azerbaijan Grand Prix promoter Arif Rahimov insists his race is secure on the F1 calendar following rumors the event could be replaced in the future by a probable race in Miami.

Formula 1 is working diligently to put the Magic City on the docket as soon as 2019, potentially increasing in the process the number of races to 22, leading to the sport's biggest calendar ever.

Miami's bid to become an F1 venue has led to speculation that it could lead to the demise of Baku which is currently in the third year of a 10-year agreement with FOM, with the first five years binding.

Rahimov denied Azerbaijan would fall to the side, but admitted he would seek a better deal going forward.

"I didn't even discuss it with FOM because it just makes no sense," said the promoter.

"We have a contract that is a binding contract for five years, five races, starting in 2016.

"Neither of us can break it unless we both agree to break it. On the other side, if Miami comes in, it can just come in and all the other races can stay there," he added.

"It's up to 22 races anyway. I think it was just a rumour. I don't know how this rumour got spread, because it made no sense from the beginning.

"I guess they're going to release the draft calendar this month or next month. We're going to be in this calendar and it's going to sort out most of the questions.''

Theoretically however, Baku has until May 31 to trigger a break clause on its end. Rahimov insists he has no intention of activating the clause but a negotiation for better terms is in order.

"We haven't triggered the break clause. We're negotiating on the second part of the contract," he said.

“We do definitely want to be there in the average [franchise fee] of the flyaway races. That’s not the only thing we’re discussing with FOM. It's most of the other commercial terms in the contract too.

“They (Liberty) want to try the new approach too so it's a bilateral effort to make this viable for all of us.

"We're trying to get it sorted before the end of June. I think we'll come to some agreement.''

Rahimov also wants FOM to investigate the possibility of pushing back the date of its event by a few months in order to help its preparation efforts.

"If we are in April, then really we have to start in the winter and you have adverse weather, all the rains and winds that stops you from working effectively," he said.

"Ideally we would like to hold the race in June."

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