By Amina Nazarli
Baku, which has turned into a circuit of legendary corners seeped in history with cars running through the capital's streets, is preparing to hold another exciting year with the Formula 1 European Grand Prix family.
But this time with a different name, as Formula 1 Grand Prix in Baku was renamed to the Grand Prix of Azerbaijan.
Grand Prix of Azerbaijan will again be the eighth stage in the Formula 1 World Championship as in previous year, but will be moved a week later to avoid a clash with the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Thus, next year the country will welcome the competition from May 23 to 25.
Azerbaijani Youth and Sports Minister Azad Rahimov commented on changing of the Baku Grand Prix name and date in Formula 1, 2017 calendar, saying that the International Automobile Federation's decision gives several advantages to Azerbaijan.
He said that on June 25 next year, attention of Formula 1 fans around the world will be focused in Azerbaijan.
"The country will host the race second time. Change is that, it will be named Azerbaijan Grand Prix, not European Grand Prix. The second big change is that the race will be held on June 25. Namely, this Grand Prix will not coincide with 24 Hours of Le Mans marathon and interest will be directed to the capital. Another advantage is that the cars and equipment will be brought from Canada in time. We won't have a problem regarding unloading 6-7 large bolid delivery planes in a short time," he said.
Nigar Arpadarai, Head of Marketing and Communications at Baku City Circuit noted that the decision of the management of Formula 1 pleases, since this will allow introducing Azerbaijan widely to the world community.
Meanwhile, tickets for the 2017 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix will be available to purchase online via www.bakucitycircuit.com from December 2. The BCC is offering fans a limited supply of special ‘early bird’ discounts of up to 30 percent on the cost of all 4-day tickets.
This exciting offer will be available until January 31, 2017, after which the cost of tickets will revert back to their original price. As such, BCC is encouraging people to act fast and book their tickets for the 2017 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix as soon as possible while this offer still lasts.
The next year's race is expected to be held in 20 countries. The 2017 season will begin on March 26 in Australia and conclude on November 26 in Abu Dhabi, and will include five back-to-back race weekends.
The main changes from the provisional calendar issued in September are Malaysia and Singapore switching places, the absence of the race in Germany, and Baku moving a week later, avoiding a clash with the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In 2016 Baku for the first time hosted the Formula 1, one of the world’s richest forms of motorsport. Along with Monaco and Singapore, Baku was the third street circuit on the calendar.
The length of the race track, where 11 teams each with 2 pilots, competed for the best title, was 6 km and had some pretty serious changes in altitude, ascents and descents. The width of the widest portion of the track was 13 meters and the narrowest section was 7.6 meters.