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F1 set to change start time of grands prix

F1 set to change start time of grands prix

F1 News

5 comments

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.

What do you think?
Craig

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.

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Amateur
Jeff
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Jan 2021
First Poster
Jeff

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.

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Amateur
Craig
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19
2
Jan 2021
Craig

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.

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Amateur
John
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2
Jan 2021
John

82% of the world's population lives in the Eastern hemisphere

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Amateur
Nicolai
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4
2
Jan 2021
Nicolai

Maybe it comes as a surprise to you Jeff, BUT USA is only a VERY small part of the world and the real fans don't have a problem with that start time (you don't hear EU citizens complaing about the start time of the Indy500 or IMSA races )

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Regular
James
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33
May 2020
James

Ah, the arrogance of our American cousins, contrary to American belief you are not the centre of the world/ or universe.

20% of the world population, I believe it is, live there, and of those, less than 1% watch F1 so, in the greater scheme of things, the American opinion of the start/finish time for the Grand Prix is largely irrelevant. Not enough interest or revenue from advertising could be the reason.

F1 caters for the larger audience in the Eastern Hemisphere where they have been getting up before the crack of dawn and just getting on with it for years, in my own personal case, for more than five decades, it is viewed as part of the fun of the Grand Prix weekend experience.

In some countries F1 followers have to put up with and rely solely on radio and/or magazines as their only way of following their chosen sport.

Be grateful that you at least have the technology to enjoy watching your sport at your leisure.

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