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F1 set to change start time of grands prix

F1 set to change start time of grands prix



F1 set to change start time of grands prix

F1 set to change start time of grands prix

Formula 1 is poised to make its second significant change to its grand prix weekend programme ahead of the 2021 season, GPFans Global understands.

The sport has already decided that for this year there will only be two hours of free practice on a Friday, split across two one-hour sessions, compared to the previous three of past seasons.

Sources have indicated to GPFans Global that F1 is also now set to revert back to race start times on the hour rather than 10 past, with European events, in particular, to begin at 2pm rather than 3.10pm as has been the case for the past three years.

The switch to 10 minutes past the hour starts was made ahead of the 2018 campaign as new owners Liberty Media felt it would better suit television programmers as well as increase viewing figures.

The belief was the vast majority of companies would be able to start their broadcast on the hour and would therefore benefit from a 10-minute lead time into a race.

Similarly, it was also felt a later race start for European events would also benefit TV broadcasters and audiences.

It has become apparent over time, however, that the benefits are minimal, and for the teams especially there has actually been a detrimental effect as the later race starts has had a knock-on effect with regard to the finish time for post-race pack up.

It is understood the teams have backed F1's proposal which is expected to be ratified shortly.

Comments (5)


No so silly Jeff. Contrary to what you may think, there are more countries in the world than the USA. I live in Australia, and the current start time means it's an 11:10pm Sunday night start time here. At least with the hour earlier start, it now starts at 10pm local time, so it is still possible to watch the race live, and get to bed before midnight.

19 2  Reply

This is silly. All it means is that if you live in the Western Hemisphere (California is a 5:00am start time, NYC is 8:00am) you will be recording the race and watching it when you get the opportunity. Unless you check the results first and discover that it was another Merc parade, in which case you can just delete the recording and hope that the next race is worth watching.

12 18  Reply
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