By Amina Nazarli
Formula One is returning to the Land of Fire, after the country made a successful debut on the 2016 F1 calendar.
The inaugural F1 race weekend in Baku was widely recognized as a huge success, displaying not only the visual splendor of Azerbaijan’s beautiful capital, but also introducing one of the most challenging circuits on the F1 calendar to a global audience of millions.
F1 fans from 24 countries have already purchased tickets not to miss ‘Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix’, which was pushed back from its provisional date to the weekend of June 23- 25, thereby avoiding another clash with the 24 Hours Le Mans race.
The tickets for the Baku street race became available for fans to purchase online via www.bakucitycircuit.com from December 2.
Nigar Arpadarai, head of marketing and communications at Baku City Circuit (BCC) said that the ticket sale is well underway, reminding that the tickets are on sale with a special 30-percent discount on the cost of all 4-day tickets until January 31, 2017.
A 4-day ticket includes grandstand access to the three days of racing as well as all accompanying entertainment offerings but also to a special Pit Lane Walk on June 22.
Discounted 4-day ticket prices range from 150 manats –550 manats ($83-$304), while the daily Roaming Tickets range from 60 manats - 150 manats ($33-$83).
“As of today, tickets have been sold to buyers in 24 countries,” she noted, adding that most of them are bought in Russia and European countries.
She said that Arab countries also show big interest in the competition, adding: “We think that once the concert program is announced, the ticket sales will increase.”
Arpadarai also mentioned a rising interest in the F1 event in the world as compared to the previous year.
As for the preparation work, she noted that all the work related to the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix is being carried in accordance with the plan.
The 2017 season will begin on March 26 in Australia and conclude on November 26 in Abu Dhabi, and will include five back-to-back race weekends. The race is expected to be held in 20 countries.
With Baku's old medieval city and the Caspian Sea forming part of the backdrop, the city became the third street circuit on the calendar along with Monaco and Singapore.
The length of the race track, where 11 teams each with 2 pilots, competed for the best title, was 6 km and had some pretty serious changes in altitude, ascents and descents. The width of the widest portion of the track was 13 meters and the narrowest section was 7.6 meters.
Apart from giving the country worldwide promotion, F1 added spin-offs for the tourism industry of Azerbaijan. Hospitality sector is expected to further improve its status, as the auto-racing events might bring in great effects of tourism into the country. It promotes the country not only as one of the tourist attraction but also attract sport lovers from all over the world.