For­mula 1 2018 Azer­bai­jan Grand Prix named best race of sea­son

Azer News - - Country Guide - By La­man Is­may­ilova

BAs a re­sult of its well-earned rep­u­ta­tion as one of the most spec­tac­u­lar races on the cal­en­dar and the prom­ise to al­ways ‘ex­pect the un­ex­pected’, the third race week­end on Baku’s streets drew in a cu­mu­la­tive global TV au­di­ence of 83 mil­lion – mak­ing it one of the most viewed races of the year.

Ac­cord­ing to re­search car­ried out by F1, 76 per­cent of spec­ta­tors at the race con­firmed they had a “very en­joy­able” time. This is com­fort­ably above the sea­son av­er­age (70 per­cent) and gives the Baku cir­cuit the 5th high­est score of the sea­son in that re­gard, close be­hind the race week­ends in the United King­dom (90 per­cent), Aus­tria (85 per­cent), Brazil (81 per­cent) and Mex­ico (79 per­cent).

F1 also re­ported that the third suc­ces­sive For­mula 1 race in Baku also per­formed strongly in terms of dig­i­tal view­er­ship, with 4.1 mil­lion unique users watch­ing the race on­line, eas­ily beat­ing the av­er­age of 3.3 mil­lion unique users on dig­i­tal plat­forms for a stan­dard race. In­deed, Baku’s fig­ures were the sec­ond high­est of the sea­son af­ter the Aus­tralian Grand Prix.

Fur­ther­more, in the an­nual pub­lic sur­vey car­ried out by Scan­di­na­vian F1 broad­caster, Vi­asat, the For­mula 1 Azer­bai­jan Grand Prix 2018 made it on to the podium with a third-place fin­ish just be­hind the U.S. and Chi­nese Grands Prix.

Ex­pec­ta­tions were high in 2018 for an­other ex­cit­ing and un­pre­dictable race through Baku’s high­speed straights and wind­ing, nar­row streets dur­ing its new late-April set­ting. Af­ter a now-tra­di­tional high oc­tane start, the race ap­peared to be set­tling into a fa­mil­iar pat­tern with Se­bas­tian Vet­tel seem­ingly head­ing for an un­event­ful vic­tory. How­ever, with 11 laps to go the two Red Bull driv­ers, Daniel Ric­cia­rdo and Max Ver­stap­pen col­lided in con­tro­ver­sial cir­cum­stances head­ing into Turn 1 be­fore Haas’s Ro­main Gros­jean in­ex­pli­ca­bly slammed into a wall while the safety car was out. When the dust set­tled, it was Valt­teri Bot­tas who led the race, with Vet­tel drop­ping back to fourth af­ter an am­bi­tious but un­suc­cess­ful move to re­take the lead. How­ever, the streets of Baku had one more sur­prise left when Bot­tas was forced to aban­don cer­tain vic­tory when his car sus­tained a punc­ture caused by de­bris left on the track. Some­how, Lewis Hamil­ton ended up tak­ing vic­tory ahead of Fer­rari’s Kimi Raikko­nen and a ju­bi­lant Ser­gio Perez in his Force In­dia – the Mex­i­can’s sec­ond podium in three years in Baku.

No won­der the world’s me­dia once again hailed the race in Baku as the home of an­other in­stant F1 clas­sic.

Baku City Cir­cuit’s Head of Mar­ket­ing and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Ni­gar Ar­par­darai, high­lighted the ever-in­creas­ing in­ter­na­tional in­ter­est in the Baku F1 street race: “It was truly a spec­tac­u­lar race with no short­age of drama and ac­tion. We are thrilled that this was also recog­nised by so many pres­ti­gious in­ter­na­tional me­dia out­lets in­clud­ing The Times, The Guardian and Metro, who have once again named our race the best of the sea­son.

More­over, both lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional au­di­ences have shown an even greater in­ter­est in the race, which is re­flected in our higher than av­er­age view­ing fig­ures on both tra­di­tional and dig­i­tal plat­forms. This con­tin­ued pos­i­tive trend only makes us even more mo­ti­vated to de­liver an­other in­cred­i­ble race week­end. We’re sure that the For­mula 1 Azer­bai­jan Grand Prix 2019 will pro­duce more ex­cit­ing mo­ments and me­mories to con­tinue our mis­sion to be­come the sport’s most dra­matic and pop­u­lar race.”

Ticket sales sta­tis­tics showed that 94,000 For­mula 1 fans at­tended the For­mula 1 Azer­bai­jan Grand Prix 2018. This fig­ure rep­re­sented a 31per­cent in­crease in at­ten­dance com­pared to the 2017 edi­tion on F1’s fastest street cir­cuit. Lo­cal sales ac­counted for 77 per­cent of all the tick­ets sold this year while in­ter­na­tional fans ac­counted for about a quar­ter of all ticket sales, which re­flected a 31per­cent in­crease from the pre­vi­ous year in the num­ber of for­eign fans vis­it­ing Baku to watch the race.

The fourth suc­ces­sive For­mula 1 race to be staged on the streets of Azer­bai­jan’s cap­i­tal city is tak­ing place on the week­end of April 26th 28th 2019. There is a limited sup­ply of spe­cial ‘early bird’ tick­ets with dis­counts of 20 per­cent on the cost of all 4-day tick­ets still avail­able un­til Jan­uary 1, 2019.

A sep­a­rate a dis­count of 25 per­cent will be ap­plied for lo­cal ticket pur­chasers.

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