Baku will continue to play host to Formula 1 for at least two more years despite speculation it could be replaced by Miami for 2019, with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix promoters working to revise the terms of the existing contract for a longer-term deal.

Baku staged its third F1 race last month, but speculation suggested the race could drop off the calendar for 2019 following the emergence of F1’s plans for a street race in Miami next autumn.

The Baku City Circuit is currently three years into a 10-year F1 deal which started in 2016, but there is a break clause that would allow it to drop the race at the five-year mark after 2020. Notice on this break clause needs to be given by a deadline set at the end of next month.

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“We have a contract that is a binding contract for five years, five races, starting in 2016. Neither of us can break it unless we both agree to break it,” Baku race promoter Arif Rahimov told reporters in Monaco on Thursday.

“If Miami comes in, it can just come in and all the other races can stay there. It’s up to 22 races anyway. I think it was just a rumour. I don’t know how this rumour got spread, because it made no sense from the beginning.

“I guess they’re going to release the draft calendar this month or next month. We’re going to be in this calendar and it’s going to sort out most of the questions.”

Speculation about Miami replacing Baku allegedly emerged following suggestions the temporary pit and paddock equipment used in Azerbaijan may be taken to the second US round.

“I’ve never held this conversation about Miami. We had a brief chat with Chase, and it wasn’t about Miami,” Rahimov said.

“It was just in general, we were trying to figure out if there’s a way to share the facilities on temporary circuits. But then we figured that if you’re going to fly them or ship them anywhere as far as Miami or the Far East, it’s not going to make any commercial sense because you’ve got to pay a lot for the logistics.

“It wasn’t in a way that we were going to sell it to someone or rent it to someone. Just trying to understand the feasibility of sharing facilities.”

While the June deadline is fast approaching, Rahimov said a firm decision may not be taken by that point as Baku looks to get improved terms on its F1 deal to bring it more in line with other races.

“We might postpone the deadline for the negotiations. You can call it triggering a break clause too,” Rahimov said.

“There’s no format of a letter. You can write a letter saying that you want to renegotiate and you want to do it later. We’re trying to get it sorted before the end of June. I think we’ll come to some agreement.”



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