Bernie Ecclestone says the proposed F1 race in Azerbaijan is ready to go ahead in 2016, insisting he is satisfied that there are no concerns of human rights violations taking place in the country.

The nation, located in the Caucasus region, will host a street event around its capital city of Baku under the 'Baku European Grand Prix' title in 2016.

Azerbaijan's addition to the calendar, however, has drawn criticism from human rights groups, which have condemned it for the imprisonment of journalists, activists and opposition politicians in recent years.

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However, Ecclestone insists F1 has undertaken its due diligence and checked Baku's human rights record before confirming its race there, saying 'everybody seems to be happy'.

"Yes [it will go ahead], no problem. That is going to be another good race. I think everybody seems to be happy, there doesn't seem to be big problems."

Designed by Hermann Tilke, the proposed 6km layout is set to wend between some of Baku's historic monuments and trace the Baku Boulevard overlooking the Caspian Sea.

Azerbaijan, which has hosted rounds of the FIA GT/Blancpain series in the last two seasons on a different Baku street circuit, has rapidly developed in recent years on the back of a boom in oil and natural gas extraction. The nation has applied (unsuccessfully) to host the Olympic Games on two occasions, but will this year host the inaugural European Games.


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So the F1 Championship risks loosing a historic race track like Monza and instead now appears to be going to Azerbaijan. What a complete farce!

As for human rights he would do well to consult the OHCHR at the UN and read the most recent, and rather damning, report.

MrJones85: Azer by what? What the hell is wrong with Ecclestone? Does F1 have a board? If they do, they really need to vote him out![\blockquote]

There is a board - it's CVC - and as long as he's making them $$$$ they'll happily keep on raping F1

I work in Azerbaijan.... I know the area the race will be... The boulevard area, the promenard ... The old city.

This is not a suitable city of country and to host a F1 race .

This race has absolutely no attraction to the Azeri people ..

Just about money, but it will not be popular with the Azeri as it will cause massive disruption here....

Such a shame this race is coming here