The newly minted Formula 1 race in Baku, Azerbaijan will be a twilight race in 2016 and this is in the face of some concern over the drop in oil prices having a negative effect on the country according to the press. It seems the twilight race is not in jeopardy according to spokesperson for the circuit:
“we would once again stress that the overall economic impact – both short and long term, direct and indirect – created by staging an F1 race will be of huge benefit to the national economy.”
“The impact of increased tourism and direct visitor spending that will be injected into Baku area business establishments such as restaurants, bars, hotels and retailers will see millions, if not more, pumped into the economy.
“Similarly, the hosting of the race itself will create thousands of jobs directly and indirectly linked to the event.
“We are confident that the staging of this race will not only play a major part in aiding the recovery in the short term but in driving the national economy forward for years to come, outweighing any existing concerns being levelled against the cost of staging it.”
Fair enough, isn’t it always why a country in emerging markets finds the cash to stage an F1 race? Perhaps the first thing to do, once you’ve ran the nation a dozen or so years is to host an F1 race to add legitimacy to your nation’s progressive world appeal.
Who needs to attend Davos when you can write a bank note for a F1 race and add credibility to your efforts? Baku is facing its inaugural season and the far-flung locations which some fans criticize are really just a much-needed revenue generator and with many teams relying nearly solely on the prize money as their lifeline and main source of income, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has to pedal hard to keep the new races coming lest we leave Sauber, Force India or Manor in the lurch.
Mercedes needs a second crew
A 21-race calendar is the result of such need and yet here we are facing the Mercedes proposition of fielding a sort of second shift or night crew to handle the increased load. With that, and I am not arguing against such things, comes increased payroll because you need highly qualified folks to run an F1 team on a race weekend. So what we gain in revenue we spend on resources to accommodate the methodology of increased revenue.