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Formula One: Traditional race start times delayed for 2018 season to appeal to television viewers

Paris: Having controversially dropped grid girls from the world championship, Formula One chiefs axed another long-standing tradition on Thursday -- the 2pm start time.

From this year, races will start 10 minutes later while the European and Brazilian Grands Prix will begin an hour later than in previous years, said Liberty Media.

File photo of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas at the start of Brazilian Grand Prix 2017. Reuters

File photo of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas at the start of Brazilian Grand Prix 2017. Reuters

"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," said a statement.

"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.

"The second change is to the European and Brazilian race weekends. Research has indicated that a wider TV audience is reachable later in the afternoons, especially in the summer months.

"Consequently, it has been decided to move the schedule of every session back by one hour across the whole weekend for each of the above-mentioned Grands Prix."

The new Formula One season begins on 25 March with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.


Published Date: Feb 02, 2018 12:00 PM | Updated Date: Feb 02, 2018 12:00 PM

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