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Azerbaijan GP boosted by avoiding date clash with Le Mans

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The absence of any conflicting event has nicely boosted the prospects of this year's Azerbaijan Grand Prix scheduled to take place on June 25.

In 2016, for their first F1 race, organisers in Baku had to contend with the 24 Hours of Le Mans which took place on the same weekend as the European Grand Prix.

The clash impacted attendance figures as well as media converge, but organisers lobbied intensively last year for a clean date, void of any conflict.

Obviously it is good to have more media and spectators in Azerbaijan for the race," said Arif Rahimov during a recent visit to London.

"Last year, a lot of people got the chance to see what the race looks like and it attracted a lot of international spectators, and we are happy that those spectators won't have to choose between the two races.

"On the press side, Le Mans is a big event and a lot of media had to choose between the races and they won't have to do that this year.

"Another positive thing is that our race isn't back-to-back with any other race, so we have more time to prepare ourselves, together with F1 management and their technical teams, to make sure that the track is right.

"Last year was quite a bit of a logistical nightmare to organise everything in such a short period of time."

The Azerbaijan GP will take place one week after Le Mans, and the date change has apparently already boosted ticket sales for this year's race.

"They are definitely up – from the trend that we see right now, in the same period of time it was last year, we have sold five times as many tickets as were sold in the same period last year," Rahimov told Motorsport.com.

"A lot of the locals got educated on what the race is, so they know what they are buying now and they just want to go and get there. They want to see the race, and they want to be part of the excitement."

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