Liberty Media have introduced new starts times ahead of the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
Race times will now start a hour and ten minutes later than of the 2017 Formula 1 season, in a bid to increase TV viewings, with now all European races starting at 3:10PM.
The additional ten minutes will allow broadcasters to incorporate the pre-race build up if their show starts within the hour.
In a statement released on the official F1 website, the sport made the change to allow broadcasters to capture the tension and emotional build up moments before the race starts.
“Formula 1, together with the FIA, has revealed the starting times for the 21 Grands Prix of the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship”.
“There are two main changes to 2017’s structure. The first is that on Sunday the race will start at ten minutes past the hour. Some broadcasters usually go on air precisely on the hour, hence missing the tension and emotion that characterize 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.”
“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.”
Formula 1 also added: “Other minor adjustments have been made in order to avoid clashes with other major sports events like the FIFA World Cup, to allow for differing sunset times, and to attract a wider attendance to promoters’ events.”
The newly added French Grand Prix will start at 4:10PM to avoid clashing with the England vs Panama game at the 2018 Russia FIFA World Cup.
This is the second round of changes Liberty Media have introduced, after announcing the elimination of grid girls with immediate effect.