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Baku wants to host sprint race in 2023

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN – JUNE 06: A general view of the race start showing Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Scuderia Ferrari SF21 leading Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W12, Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda and Pierre Gasly of France driving the (10) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT02 Honda off the line during the F1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan at Baku City Circuit on June 06, 2021 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool.

Azerbaijan Grand Prix promoter Arif Rahimov has revealed that they have the desire to host a sprint race next season.

The number of sprint races may be increased to six in the 2023 Formula 1 season. The proposal is supported by the teams, though it still needs to be approved by the FIA. According to Rahimov, Baku City Circuit wants to host the event.

“In general, I’m personally a proponent of tweaking things around sometimes, just to bring some of the interest back,” he said.

“Basically, the appeal with a sprint race – not just for Baku but for any promoter – is definitely that it looks like it will bring more fans on a Saturday.

“When you say that [you] have two races, for people who don’t know the difference between a Sprint race and an actual race, it will definitely increase the attendance on a Saturday.

“It will also give them more value for money; they think they are buying their ticket for two races, [and] they actually are buying their ticket for two races.

“I would be glad to have the sprint race here in Baku next year. I hope we are one of those six races that will get it.”

Rahimov also confirmed that he would raise the topic at this year’s Azerbaijan GP in June.

“That was in my agenda for this year’s race.

“With how busy F1 is right now, I think the best time to get their attention into the novelties is when they’re here actually racing.

“I was going to try to propose that we have one of those sprint races for next year.

“I really like the idea. I think it’s good to mix things around a little bit throughout the year. Things get boring and people get too used to the same format and lose their interest.

“When these sort of changes come in, I think it’s good for the sport.”

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