The executive director of the Baku City Circuit has explained the decision to drop the European Grand Prix title for its Formula 1 race for 2017 and rename it the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Baku appeared on the F1 calendar for the first time in 2016, reviving the European Grand Prix moniker for the first time since 2012 when the race was held in Valencia, Spain.
However, with the publication of the final calendar for the 2017 season, the race was listed as the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after months of speculation about a name change.
"For our inaugural event, we wanted to position our country as a part of Europe, our race as a European one and also to showcase our European mentality to the world and demonstrate our country’s openness to foreign visitors who can easily visit and find comfort here," Baku City Circuit executive director Arif Rahimov said.
"We now feel it is the right time to rename our race to the ‘Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix’. After last summer’s race, many F1 fans discovered that our society is closely linked to the European mentality but now we feel it is the right time to draw attention to the fact that the 2017 race is also set in Azerbaijan and will be named thereafter accordingly.”
The Azerbaijan Grand Prix is scheduled to take place on June 25 in 2017.