The Azerbaijan Grand Prix organisers are hopeful that they can reclaim their June date in 2019 after requesting to move the race to April in 2018 in order for the republic to celebrate their 100th anniversary.
Arif Rahimov, the promoter of the Baku City Circuit, says the celebrations next June would involve the square that forms the paddock area, and as such the Grand Prix was moved to accommodate this, but he wants to see the event return to its June slot again the following year.
Rahimov hopes the April move will not affect spectator attendance next season, especially after a reported 30% growth in attendance in 2017 compared to its inaugural race in 2016.
“We asked to move to an earlier slot,” said Rahimov to Motorsport.com. “Because we want to use the square for a parade on the June date next year for the 100th anniversary of the republic. And then in July onwards the European season is too dense, we cannot fit in there.
“We would like to go back to June in 2019, we’re happy with it. In general, the June date works well. It’s probably more or less the best weather we can have, it’s hot under the sun, but once you go in the shadow, it’s OK.
“At the end of April it can get down to 14-15C. It’s not freezing cold, but it’s not T-shirt weather.
“As long as we provide all the entertainment and everything works out, I don’t think this shift will really affect spectator attendance. It’s gone up this year quite a bit.”