Baku seeking better deal with Liberty Media

Azerbaijan Grand Prix promoter Arif Rahimov has revealed that they want to negotiate a better deal with Liberty Media in order to continue hosting Formula 1 races.

Azerbaijan arrived on the Formula 1 calendar in 2016 after a 10-year agreement was reached with then owner Bernie Ecclestone, which included a break clause after five years.

Baku has to pay one of the largest fees of all the circuits to host Formula 1 races as Ecclestone needed to be convinced of adding the destination to the schedule.

But, they now want to bring those costs down for the second half of their hosting contract.

“We have a contract which is a binding contract for five years, for five races, starting in 2016,” Rahimov told “Neither of us can break it unless we agree to break it.

“We haven’t triggered the break clause. We’re negotiating on the second part of the contract. We all know we need to improve bits, so we’re trying hard to make sure that it’s good for us and good for F1.”

“In general we want to be close to the average. Now that it’s public information I think everyone knows what the average is,” added Rahimov.

“You have a few outliers to remove from both ends, statistically speaking, but obviously we want to be close in that mid-range of flyaway races.

“We cannot just take the average of all the races, because European races pay less for a lot of reasons, starting from logistics and cost of operation etc.

“But we do definitely want to be there in the average of the flyaway races, That’s not the only thing we’re discussing with FOM, it’s most of the other commercial terms in the contract too. They want to try a new approach, it’s a bi-lateral effort to make it viable for all of us.

“We will try to get it sorted before the end of June, so I think we’ll come to some agreement. Obviously I’m asking for an improvement which is eating into their profits, it’s quite obvious.”

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Rosberg considered return for ‘five seconds’

Nico Rosberg has said he considered a comeback for “five seconds” after taking his title-winning W07 for a spin in Monaco.

Nico and Keke Rosberg, one of only two father and son combinations to win the Formula 1 World Championship, took part in a special demo run after FP2 in Monaco with both drivers in their title winning cars.

Asked if it made him consider making a comeback, Nico told Corriere della Sera: “For five seconds, yes!

“When I got into the cockpit it was like coming home. But it went right away. I’m so happy,” he added.

Nico’s father, Keke, meanwhile, almost turned down the opportunity to drive his 1982 title-winning Williams FW08.

He has chosen to avoid the world of Formula 1 press and all that, and so coming here of course it’s unavoidable when you are driving the car,” Nico added to Autosport.

“So, it wasn’t so easy. I had to take it very strategically. But now he’s really, really happy as well that we did it.

“He really enjoyed it, enjoyed the moment, so that’s cool to see as well. That’s really nice.”

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No set targets for Grosjean to earn new Haas deal

Romain Grosjean has said there are no performance targets he has to hit in order to earn himself a contract extension with Haas.

Grosjean has been at fault for consecutive DNFS in Baku and Spain, and has a three-place grid penalty to contend with this weekend for causing a collision at the latter location.

The Frenchman has yet to score to single point so far this season in a Haas car which Kevin Magnussen has shown to be very competitive in the midfield battle.

Haas bosses have said that Grosjean’s future with the team is not under threat at this stage, and Grosjean is also reasonably relaxed about the situation.

“I haven’t been thinking about it too much,” Grosjean told Firstpost in a Q and A session.

“At one point, we need to sit down and talk about it, but right now we are more focussed on getting the race right.”

Grosjean also revealed he does not have to hit any specific targets in order to stay with the American team.

“No, they know what I can do and I know what they can do,” Grosjean added.

“I was the first one to join the Haas project. I could see then that it was a very different, intelligent approach to F1 and that it could work.

“Three years into F1, we potentially have the fourth fastest car on the grid — that is incredible.”

Grosjean has made no secret of the fact that his dream would be to drive for Ferrari, but he believes his comments has led to too much media talk about his ultimate goals.

He said: “It was a lot of media talk. I didn’t think of it that way. I was going to be 30 and had spent all of my career in Enstone.

“I needed to see a different place. I was the first to join Haas with the vision that I would help the team achieve its many first milestones — something quite unique.

“So far I’ve actually achieved those first goals and I will always remember them. I was here for the first Top 5 and may be here for the first podium!”

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