Azerbaijan will play host to two global sporting events in the next seven days. On Sunday, Formula 1 drivers will be racing on the streets of the capital Baku.
The following weekend, Wales take on Switzerland at the Baku Olympic Stadium in the group stages of the Euro 2020 football championship, which also includes Turkey.
The F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix will see the likes of Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) compete in what is sure to be an exciting race by the Caspian Sea on Sunday 6 June.
The 6.003 kilometre street racetrack is the third-longest circuit in the F1 calendar. Drivers will race around the Baku City Circuit for a total of 51 laps, making a total race distance of 306.049km.
The first Formula 1 Grand Prix in Azerbaijan took place in 2016 – then called the European Grand Prix – and it’s occurred every year since bar 2020, when it was one of the casualties of the coronavirus pandemic.
The lap record was set in 2019 by Charles Leclerc, with a time of 1:43.009. He will be racing again in Baku on Sunday.
Each Azerbaijan F1 race to date has resulted in a different winner. The last event in 2019 was closely fought between Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, with the Finnish driver winning the battle for first.
Who will be on the top step of the winners podium in 2021? Watch live on Sky Sports on Sunday. The race starts 1pm British Summer Time.
On Saturday, 12 June, Wales play Switzerland in Group A’s second match of the tournament – the first is between Italy and Turkey, an evening kick-off in Rome on Friday, 11 June.
Baku will also host the game between Wales and Turkey on Wednesday 16, June, and Switzerland versus Turkey on Sunday 20 June.
The Baku Olympic Stadium will also host the third quarter final, Winner 3 vs Winner 1, on Saturday 3 July.
Fans are able to travel to watch the games, but with Azerbaijan currently on the amber list for the UK, it means a 10-day home quarantine for those in England and Wales (Scotland has mandatory hotel quarantine for all overseas travellers, at a cost of £1,750).
The Baku Olympic Stadium is operating at 50% capacity, to ensure it is compliant with Covid safety rules.
Currently international travel to Baku is not permitted for non-residents at all. However ticket holders who are citizens or permanent residents of Turkey, Switzerland and the UK plus quarter-finalist countries will be able to obtain a visa. They will be eligible for a quarantine exemption, with proof of a negative COVID-19 test result.
There is more information on both the official UEFA Euro 2020 tournament website and also the travel advice for football fans on the Azerbaijan government website.
Main photo, top, of the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix and Baku City Walls behind. Photo © Azeri Presidency CC by 4.0 / Commons Wikimedia