How F1 2014’s timings would have changed – Bianchi report

The findings of the Accident Panel have been published today surrounding Jules Bianchi’s accident at the Japanese Grand Prix.

The panel came to 11 conclusions and seven recommendations. One recommendation states that “it is proposed that a regulation or guideline be established such that the Start time of an event shall not be less than 4 hours before either sunset or dusk, except in the case of night races.”

How would such a rule affect the timings on race day where the calendar is concerned? If we’re to look at the 2014 calendar, a total of six races would have been affected. In most cases though, this is a movement on one hour rather than anything significant. However, Australia and Japan would have been brought forward by two hours, Australia would have a start time of 04:00 UK time, with Japan at 05:00 UK time. Let’s not forget, the reason Australia was pushed later in the first place was to boost European viewing figures and at broadcasters demand, so it will be interesting to see if any change comes in for 2015.

Anyway, here is what would have changed for 2014…

Australian Grand Prix – 16 March
=> actual: 17:00 / 06:00
=> proposed: 15:00 / 04:00
=> sunset is 19:38 –
Malaysian Grand Prix – 30 March
=> actual: 16:00 / 09:00
=> proposed: 15:00 / 08:00
=> sunset is 19:22 –
Chinese Grand Prix – 20 April
=> actual: 15:00 / 08:00
=> proposed: 14:00 / 07:00
=> sunset is 18:26 –
Japanese Grand Prix – 5 October
=> actual: 15:00 / 07:00
=> proposed: 13:00 / 05:00
=> sunset is 17:33 –
Russian Grand Prix – 12 October
=> actual: 15:00 / 12:00
=> proposed: 14:00 / 11:00
=> sunset is 18:43 –
US Grand Prix – 2 November
=> actual: 14:00 / 20:00
=> proposed: 13:00 / 19:00
=> sunset is 17:43 –

Alternatively, if you’re looking at ways of boosting viewing figures without hindering driver safety, you could push all European races to a start time of 16:00 or 17:00 local time. Based on this year’s calendar, Monaco has sunset at 20:59, Budapest is 20:25, Spa is 20:45 and Silverstone is 21:19, so a start time of 16:00 or 17:00 local time would be reasonable. In fact, I’m surprised that has not already happened.

2 thoughts on “How F1 2014’s timings would have changed – Bianchi report

  1. Now that we can record live TV (and have had as-live re-runs for years) I’m surprised races start so late in some countries in order to boost European audiences. We, the die-hard fans, will wake up early to watch qualifying and races no matter what the time.

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