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Is the European Grand Prix Coming to Azerbaijan a Good Thing?

Rumours of a new grand prix in the former Soviet satellite Azerbaijan were confirmed in the week before the Hungarian Grand Prix. Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone told Forbes' Christian Sylt that the Azerbaijani capital of Baku, on the Caspian Sea, will host a race in 2016. This announcement continues what is becoming a disturbing trend for F1: the addition of countries with authoritarian regimes and questionable human rights records to the calendar. Azerbaijan's current president, Ilham Aliyev, was named the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project's Person of the Year in 2012. The citation noted that he "has been compared to a mafia crime boss in U.S. diplomatic cables, and is referred to as a dictator by man...

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