F1 set to revert to 2pm race start times for European races

Formula 1 looks set to revert to 2pm race start times at European races this year, with sources saying the change is likely to be approved by teams imminently

F1 set to revert to 2pm race start times for European races

Ever since 2018, F1 has had later race starts for its regular races - with the events regularly beginning at 3.10pm.

The change was brought about as part of a push by F1 owners Liberty Media to try to boost television audiences.

It was felt that shifting races to start 10 minutes after the hour would be better for broadcasters, as they could schedule their pre-race programming to begin on the hour shortly before the action began.

A shift away from a 2pm schedule to 3pm was also brought about because it felt it would boost American television audiences.

At the time, a statement from F1 said: "Some broadcasters usually go on air precisely on the hour, hence missing the tension and emotion that characterise the minutes before the start of each grand prix.

"Thanks to this change, television viewers will be brought closer to the teams and the drivers and fully enjoy the spectacle offered just before the red lights go out."

While the change may have brought some small benefits, it was not particularly popular within F1 circles.

Moving back the races to 3pm meant that personnel, already being pushed to the limit by an increased number of events, had later pack up times on race days - with extra time being wasted with dead time ahead of the grands prix.

Furthermore, the start being at 10 past complicated the timing of pit lane exits being opened and the pre-race ceremonies.

Plus, those TV companies already committed to a lengthy pre-race build-up on the grid were left having to find an extra 10 minutes of content because of the delay.

Autosport understands that F1 has proposed to teams that from this season, the start times are moved back to the hour - plus the normal timing will be 2pm at events on a European time zone.

Early indications suggest that all teams are in favour of the change, which should be formally ratified soon.

The exact start times of races that do not take place in the European time zone will be moved to fit in best with peak audiences.

shares
comments
Verstappen: Red Bull F1 car problems exaggerated in the media

Previous article

Verstappen: Red Bull F1 car problems exaggerated in the media

Next article

Gasly remembers "every single second" of shock F1 Italian GP victory

Gasly remembers "every single second" of shock F1 Italian GP victory
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021