2016 European Grand Prix

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Azerbaijan  2016 European Grand Prix
Race details
Race 8 of 21 in the 2016 Formula One season
Layout of the Baku City Circuit
Layout of the Baku City Circuit
Date 19 June 2016
Official name 2016 Formula One Grand Prix of Europe[1]
Location Baku City Circuit
Baku, Azerbaijan
Course Temporary street circuit
Course length 6.006 km (3.732 mi)
Distance 51 laps, 306.306 km (190.332 mi)

The 2016 European Grand Prix (formally known as the 2016 Formula One Grand Prix of Europe)[1] is a Formula One motor race that will be held on 19 June 2016 at the Baku City Circuit in Baku, Azerbaijan.[2] The race will be the eighth round of the 2016 season, and marks the twenty-third running of the European Grand Prix as a round of the Formula One World Championship. It will be the first time that the race has been held at the circuit and the first time that a Grand Prix has been held in Azerbaijan.

Report

Background

Preparations

Following the 2012 event, the European Grand Prix in Valencia was discontinued. With the Korean Grand Prix being held in breach of contract, Bernie Ecclestone—the sport's commercial rights holder—sought out a replacement event.[3][4] After exploring the possibility of reviving the European Grand Prix in 2015, the race was included on the 2016 calendar.[2]

The circuit passed its final inspection in May 2016 with FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting declaring his satisfaction that the circuit would be ready in time for the race.[5]

Tyres

After providing teams with the ultrasoft compound for the Monaco and Canadian Grands Prix,[6] tyre supplier Pirelli made the supersoft, soft and medium compounds available for the race despite the ultrasoft compound being specifically designed for street circuits.[7] Pirelli explained the decision not to provide the ultrasoft tyres as being a result of a lack of available performance data on the circuit.[8] Pirelli had previously made similar conservative tyre choices for the first running of brand-new races.

Support events

The circuit will also host the third round of the 2016 GP2 Series championship as a supporting event.[9]

Controversy

Following the initial announcement of its revival, the race was subject to criticism in light of Azerbaijan's human rights record as the race was established with the financial support of the Azerbaijani government.[10] The criticisms were made in the build-up to the 2014 Russian Grand Prix—which was also established with government support—and accusations of Russian involvement in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine.[11] In response, Red Bull Racing and Mercedes team principals Christian Horner and Toto Wolff sought to distance the sport from political issues.[12]

With the race scheduled for 19 June, the event conflicted with the conclusion of the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans.[13] Force India driver Nico Hülkenberg, who won the 2015 race with Porsche would not be able to return and defend his title, leading to accusations that Formula One Management had deliberately scheduled the race to conflict with Le Mans and prevent Formula One drivers from participating.[14] In May 2016, the Azerbaijan government decided to abandon the use of Daylight Savings Time, prompting event organisers to change the start time of the race. The revised start time negated the clash between the start of the Grand Prix and the race in Le Mans.[15]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "2016 Formula One Grand Prix of Europe". formula1.com. Formula One Management. Retrieved 14 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "FIA confirms 2016 calendar". formula1.com. Formula One Management. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Sylt, Christian. "Exclusive: Korean GP dropped to make way for race in Azerbaijan". www.independent.co.uk. The Independent. Retrieved 15 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Formula 1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix debut delayed until 2016". uk.eurosport.yahoo.com. Reuters. Retrieved 14 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Noble, Jonathan. "Whiting says Baku F1 circuit will be ready". motorsport.com. Retrieved 31 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Ultrasoft tyres to debut in Monaco". formula1.com. Formula One Administration. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Parkes, Ian (3 March 2016). "Pirelli will not take ultra-soft tyres to inaugural Azerbaijan race". autosport.com. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 17 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Saunders, Nate (7 March 2016). "No ultra-soft tyre in Baku due to lack of data". ESPN F1. ESPN. Retrieved 17 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "GP2 Series 2016 season calendar confirmed". gp2series.com. GP2 Motorsport Limited. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Collantine, Keith (25 July 2014). "Unhappy Horner hits out at 'negative focus'". F1 Fanatic. Keith Collantine. Archived from the original on 24 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Collantine, Keith (10 September 2014). "Sirotkin to make F1 practice debut in Russia". Archived from the original on 23 July 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Baldwin, Alan (22 August 2014). "F1 has "no argument" with Russia says Ecclestone". reuters.com. Reuters. Archived from the original on 14 October 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "2016 FIA WEC Calendar Announced, Mexico Race Added". DailySportsCar. 19 September 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Collantine, Keith (2 February 2016). "No wonder FOM arranged Baku to clash with Le Mans". F1 Fanatic. Keith Collantine. Retrieved 16 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Noble, Jonathan. "Baku organisers confirm start time change for F1 race". motorsport.com. Retrieved 31 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links


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2016 Canadian Grand Prix
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2016 Austrian Grand Prix
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2012 European Grand Prix
European Grand Prix Next race:
2017 European Grand Prix