ON TRACK: Australian F1 GP race organisers are refusing to change the start time for the season-opening race in 2015. Image: AP / Felipe Dana
MELBOURNE, Australia - Race organisers are reluctant to shift the start time for the 2015 Australian Formula 1 GP, the first race of the season.
The International Automobile Federation, in response to Jules Bianchi's horror crash at Suzuka, vowed to look into ensuring that races were no longer started too close to dusk.
Races at season-opening Melbourne, for instance, have by tradition started at 5pm local time to create a better morning TV time slot for the huge European audience.
STICKING TO SCHEDULE
The city's Herald Sun newspaper claims race organisers have now received a request to reverse the scheduled start time by several hours but race chief Andrew Westacott insisted:
"The race start will remain at 5pm as per agreement with the Australian GP Corporation and Formula 1 management, which means Melbourne, as the opening race of the season, will air in Asia at lunchtime and Europe at breakfast."
In 2014 the Victoria state government agreed to a five-year deal to keep the GP at Albert Park until 2020.