F1 scraps ’10 past the hour’ race starts


Formula One has released its race start times for the 2021 season and announced an end to races starting at 10 minutes past the hour.

When Liberty Media took control of F1 in 2018 it shifted races away from traditional 2pm race starts for European races in favour of a later slot to try and boost American television audience numbers. Liberty also decided to push starts back to 10 minutes past the hour to help broadcasters better schedule their pre-race programming.

The 10 minute delay was not popular within F1, as the added pre-race ceremonies added in recent seasons — including the national anthem and the pre-race anti-racism message — further complicated the timing of the opening of the pit-lane and when drivers could make their way to the grid.

For 2021, the majority of European races will start at 3pm. Baku’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix will start at 4pm local time,

Friday’s two practice sessions will be reduced from 90 minutes to 60 minutes each, which is the same as the practice session held on Saturday ahead of qualifying.

Rescheduled 2021 F1 calendar
All times GMT
March 28 – Bahrain GP, Sakhir (1500)
April 18 – Emilia Romagna GP, Imola* (1300)
May 2 – TBC (1300)
May 9 – Spanish GP, Circuit de Catalunya (1300)
May 23 – Monaco GP, Monte Carlo**(1200)
June 6 – Azerbaijan GP, Baku (1800)
June 13 – Canadian GP, Montreal (1300)
June 27 – French GP, Paul Ricard (1300)
July 4 – Austrian GP, Red Bull Ring (1400)
July 18 – British GP, Silverstone (1300)
August 1 – Hungarian GP, Budapest (1300)
August 29 – Belgian GP, Spa-Fracorchamps (1300)
September 5 – Dutch GP, Zandvoort (1300)
September 12 – Italian GP, Monza (1200)
September 26 – Russian GP, Sochi (1200)
October 3 – Singapore GP, Marina Bay (1200)
October 10 – Japanese GP, Suzuka (0500)
October 24 – U.S. GP, Austin (1900)
October 31 – Mexican GP, Mexico City (1900)
November 7 – Brazilian GP, Sao Paulo (1700)
November 21 – Australian GP, Melbourne* (0600)
December 5 – Saudi Arabian GP, Jeddah* (1600)
December 12 – Abu Dhabi GP, Yas Marina (1300)

*Revisions to calendar are subject to World Motor Sport Council approval

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