F1 European Grand PrixBaku, Azerbaijan
Charter a Private Jet to the F1 European Grand Prix
Smack dab in the middle of the F1 Grand Prix Championship schedule is the European Grand Prix, which is held on a street circuit in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Formerly part of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan prides itself in being half East and half West in people and culture.
We Can Get You There
If you’d like to travel to the country located along the Great Silk Road, the ancient trade route connecting the East to the West, to watch a thrilling street circuit race, Paramount Business Jets can arrange a charter flight for you into any nearby airport, including:
- Nasosnaya Airport, UB12, Nasosnaya, Azerbaijan (14 miles)
- Heydar Aliyev International Airport, UBBB, BAK, Baku, Azerbaijan (26 miles)
- Baku Kala Airport, UB18, Baku Kala, Azerbaijan (33 miles)
- Kyurdamir Airport, UB14, Kyurdamir, Azerbaijan (75 miles)
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Why ‘European’ and not ‘Azerbaijan’
Azerbaijan calls itself the European Grand Prix, the name abandoned in 2013 after the race had bounced around from country to country, including Germany and Spain, since becoming an official name in 1983.
But, the European Grand Prix was in the mix before it became official. In fact, the European Grand Prix was held before the world championship was born in 1950.
At that time and later, when resurrected in 1983, the European Grand Prix was a separate race within the calendar. In other words, Great Britain hosted the British Grand Prix and also the European Prix.
The European Grand Prix as a second race for a circuit was discontinued in 2013 mostly due to the high cost of hosting a race.
Baku skyline and Caspian Sea. A preview of Baku, Azerbaijan, host of the 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe. © Sutton Motorsport Images
So, the name was up for grabs when Azerbaijan, which gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, was added to the F1 calendar. It wants to be known as a European rather than a Soviet country, so it took the name.
“Azerbaijan is a modern European country that has established a reputation as a center of sporting excellence,” Azad Rahimov, the Azerbaijani official responsible for bringing the race to his country, said.
“Azerbaijan is at pains to project an image of itself as being European.”
About the Circuit
The Baku Street Circuit has been called the fastest street circuit on the F1 calendar. It was designed by Herman Tilke, who is a widely known F1 street circuit designer. The track is on Baku Boulevard right on the Caspian Sea.
The circuit takes you past the walled off Palace of the Shirvanshahs.
Ride along with a driver to see what the 4-mile circuit looks like from the driver’s seat. Cars get quickly to about 190 mph. Tilke wanted to show off the city’s backdrop of medieval-history-meets-modern-times. See if you think he accomplished his goal to show off the beautiful seaside location.
“Obviously street circuits present a number of challenges, in terms of circuit design”, Tilke said, “but we have been able to incorporate some unique features that will provide the teams and fans with fascinating racing.”
That excitement includes a narrow uphill section at the wall in the old city and a straightaway that allows the drivers to go really, really fast.
Where to Watch
There are three types of observation points:
- Absheron, the main grandstand: One of the best seats in the house, this grandstand is located at the start/finish line of the race. It’s a great place to watch action in the pits, too.
- General admission: If you like to wander around and watch the race from lots of different viewpoints, this is the way to go. There are spectator podiums at several locations around the circuit as well as lawn seating.
- Other grandstands: Enjoy looking around and catching a sea breeze at one of the other grandstands located around the track.
Things to See and Do
There are old and new, Eastern and Western things to do in Baku. Here are some of the more unusual:
- Little Venice: Build in the 1960s, Little Venice has shallow waterways and Venetian architecture that you can see while taking a ride on a gondola.
- Bathe in crude oil: At the Naftalan Spa you can enter a tub of crude oil for an ablution right out of the 6th century B.C. It claims to heal everything from clogged pores to impotence. (Carcinogens be damned).
- See mud volcanoes: If you’re afraid of the dangers of bathing in crude oil, you can always just go see the mud volcanoes. Most of the time they just bubble and blug but when they erupt and ignite, flames shoot high in the air. (Noxious gas be damned).
- Visit the Carpet Museum: You won’t have any trouble finding it on the seaside – it’s shaped like a giant rolled up carpet. You can watch them weave magnificent carpets there.
Picture 1 Source © Sutton Motorsport Images