By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
The long-awaited Formula 1 SOCAR Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2019 was held in the streets of the country's capital on April 26-28.
Baku City Circuit Operations Company (BCC) has confirmed that 85,000 Formula 1 fans attended the racing action and night concerts at the Grand Prix.
Ticket sales matched those of 2018 with a slight drop in attendance from last year attributable mostly to the late cancelation of Sam Smith’s headlining performance on Saturday evening and the lack of the Friday night concert.
Races weren’t the only appealing aspect during these days in Baku. As a well-established tradition, Baku City Circuit offered fans one of the most exciting live music line ups. Two magnificent concerts were held on Formula 1 Saturday and Sunday.
Azerbaijani singer Rilaya and UK’s world celebrity Jessie J performed in the Baku Crystal Hall on April 27, while one of the most electrifying artists in the world music, Cardi B, closed out the entertainment program of Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2019.
International visitors arrived from over 74 countries which made up 22 percent of all tickets. The vast majority of international visitors came from Russia, UK, Austria, the Netherlands and Georgia.
BCC’s Head of Commercia Bulent Ozerdim has said that Formula 1 SOCAR Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2019 made significant progress over the past four years in hosting this spectacular event and stressed that he is very happy to see that the race has become a destination event for F1’s core fanbase, with a strong increase in visitors from key European markets this year.
He emphasized that the number of fans from the UK rose by 41 percent, from Austria - by 28 percent and from the Netherlands - by 26 percent adding that figures for visitors from China and Turkey also demonstrated boost of 22 percent and 11 percent, respectively.
“All grandstand tickets were sold out and overall ticket sales were equal to 2018 in spite of the lack of a third headline music act – something we will address for next year – and Sam Smith’s late cancelation. We are enormously encouraged by the fact that our local fan base is growing year-on-year and in particular appears to be resonating with the country’s youth,” Ozerdim noted.
Winner of SOCAR Azerbaijan Grand Prix F1 became known after the main race on April 28. Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes took the first place at Formula 1 SOCAR Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2019. Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes came in second, followed by Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.
In addition, F2 race also was held and DAMS pilot Nicholas Latifi won the F2. Charouz pilot Juan-Manuel Correa ranked second while Campos Racing pilot Jack Aitken ranked third.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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