Formula One, after dictatorial Bahrain, dictatorial Azerbaijan?

This video about Azerbaijan says about itself:

Azeri political analyst Hikmet Hajizade, father of jailed blogger Adnan Hajizade, discusses the latest moves in his son’s case and an upsurge in Azeri youth activism.

From Autoblog:

Formula One headed to… Azerbaijan?

By Noah Joseph

Posted May 4th 2014 1:03PM

The Formula One calendar each year is populated by some grands prix (like Monaco, Melbourne and Montreal) that are essential to the sport and others (like Bahrain, Russia or Korea) that expand its reach to new locations. But even in the latter category, the last place we’d expect to see on the list is Azerbaijan. Yet that, according to reports, is exactly where F1 is headed next.

According to reports circulating the interwebs, local organizers and Bernie Ecclestone – the embattled and controversial F1 supremo currently fighting corruption and bribery charges in court – have already signed and will soon announce a deal to bring the top racing series to the streets of Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital city, starting in 2016. The reports further state that the race will be dubbed the Grand Prix of Europe or the European Grand Prix, a title last used for a race in Valencia held from 2008 through 2012 (alongside the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona) and before that at the Nürburgring (alongside the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim) from 1999 through 2006.

The idea may not be quite as far-fetched as it may seem at first. Baku is set to host the inaugural European Games next year, has already hosted the popular Eurovision song contest and has hosted a GT3 race on a specially designed street circuit. The grand prix would likely use a similar setup.

Though Azerbaijan, the largest country in the Caucasus region nestled in between Eastern Europe and Western Asia, is not a member of the European Union, it is part of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). It shares borders with Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Iran.

Autoblog also could have mentioned here, but did not mention, that Azerbaijan is a dictatorship. And an oil-producing country. Both like Bahrain, that other country where Bernie Ecclestone likes to have his Grand Prix races.

As Formula One car racing fat cat Bernie Ecclestone is on record as praising Adolf Hitler, and praising Margaret Thatcher, it is not that surprising that he likes the absolute monarchy in Bahrain and the authoritarian presidential regime in Azerbaijan as well.

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13 thoughts on “Formula One, after dictatorial Bahrain, dictatorial Azerbaijan?

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