F1: Flavio Briatore backs Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku as an 'F1 kind of place'

Briatore helped broker a deal that will see F1 hit the streets of Baku next season

Flavio Briatore has no doubt Formula One's latest adventure into new territory will prove a resounding success.

Former Benetton and Renault team principal Briatore was the man who helped broker a deal that will see the sport take to the streets of Azerbaijan capital Baku some time next year.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed a contract is in place for the sport to venture into the oil-rich nation, thanks to Briatore.

The controversial Italian, involved in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix race-fixing scandal that resulted in his exit from F1 a year later, said: "If it is possible to do something for Formula One, I am very happy."

Speaking in the paddock at the Monaco Grand Prix, Briatore added: "I have a lot of friends there (in Baku), have had for many, many years, and we hope it happens in 2015.

"It's a super place, the city is amazing, like a little Dubai, and more importantly everything is new.

"All the construction is new, the heart of the town has been completely renovated, so you have the flavour of the old days and of the oil money.

"The hotels are also amazing, the restaurants, all the facilities. It's an F1 kind of place."

Briatore, though, has rejected any suggestion of a potential return to F1.

One avenue for Briatore is Caterham, apparently put up for sale by owner Tony Fernandes, who now needs as much money as possible to fund the return to the Barclays Premier League of his true love, QPR.

But a dismissive Briatore believes the running costs in F1 these days are prohibitive as he said: "The problem is too many teams are available.

"With this Formula One at the moment I don't think it makes any sense to have a team.

"What you are sure of is the team is losing money, and I'm not interested in buying any team that loses money.

"If you are very rich you want to come in and invest in Formula One. But I'm not very rich, and I want to keep what I have."

Ecclestone, meanwhile, has poured cold water on the hopes of Magny Cours circuit boss Serge Saulnier of a return to the calendar for next year of the French Grand Prix.

The race has been absent from F1 since 2008, yet Saulnier recently claimed a deal could be "done for the summer".

Ecclestone, however, said: "They'll knock at the door, but I don't think we can do anything."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine