Baku bags new three-year extension in F1

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The Azerbaijan Grand Prix will stay on the Formula 1 calendar through to 2023 after organisers concluded an extension to their current deal with the sport's promoters.

“We are very pleased to have renewed this agreement which will see the Azerbaijan Grand Prix feature on the FIA Formula 1 world championship calendar for many years to come,” Formula 1 boss Chase Carey said in a statement following a press event in Baku on Tuesday.

"In just a short space of time, this race has become one of the most popular of the season, always producing closely fought and spectacular racing," he continued.

"The Republic of Azerbaijan provides a really excellent welcome to everyone in Formula 1 and the beautiful city of Baku is an amazing backdrop for the greatest motor racing show in the world."

Baku first hosted a Grand Prix in 2016. It originally signed a ten-year contract with then-CEO Bernie Ecclestone, but last year activated a break clause meaning that the contract would instead expire in 2020 after neat year's race.

The new extension means that F1 is now guaranteed to return to the city for at least three more years after that.

It's the first race deal to be announced in 2019. Other venues that have already recently successfully extended their presence in F1 include Belgium, China, Germany, Japan and Singapore. A new race in Vietnam has also been confirmed.

Previously the organisers in Baku had said they were looking to cut the cost of holding future Grand Prix races on the streets of the capital city. Azerbaijan's sport and youth minister Azad Rahimov was upbeat about the new contract agreed with F1.

“With these exciting opportunities in mind, extending our contract was never in question," he insisted. "We are delighted to stay in this wonderful sport for another five years at least.”

"This is a truly proud day for all of us,” Rahimov continued. "This new agreement will allow our race to maximise its commercial revenues through increased fan-engagement activities and a new sponsorship approach.

"The last few years have been a dream come true for the people of Baku as we have seen our race weekend grow from a simple idea into one of the most dramatic and exciting race weekends in F1's history."

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