Catering to a global audience


I don't think there's any denying that the decision to postpone the second and third qualifying sessions for the Australian Grand Prix was the wrong one, but could the whole situation have been avoided? Would an earlier start time of not only meant that the rain wasn't as heavy, but that the issue of bad light and sunset wouldn't have even come into play?

It's puzzled for me a while as to why the Australian Grand Prix (both race and qualifying) has a 5pm (local) start time. I can only assume that it's to cater to European audiences that benefit from not having such an early start as they would if say the race were to start at 2 or 3pm Australian time. But is the later start really good for either audience, both in Europe and at the track itself? An evening start, even when sunny, sees the race ending fairly close to sunset anyway but when the conditions are overcast or rainy as they were today, the issue of light really comes to the fore.

If the powers that be in Formula 1 decide that the race should have an evening start local time to please audiences in Europe, then why are they cutting so many European rounds from the calendar? Personally I see no problem with having to stay/wake up during the middle of the night to watch a race live. 3am, 5am, 8am... it makes no difference. If I want to watch the race live, I'll try my best to, whatever time it may start. It's the same thing in America for the European rounds. Numerous back-to-back early starts to watch races live, but who is that bothered? If you really want to watch something live, you'll do whatever you can to, surely?

The issue of cutting European races from the calendar is one I've discussed previously with fellow fans, and it's something I think should be looked at. I'd rather see one or two more European races re-added to the calendar than for the opening rounds of the season to have their start times pushed back to please a European audience.

Maybe I'm making something out of nothing. Formula 1 is a global sport and the schedule shouldn't be fixated around one particular section of the world. In my opinion the race should start at the time that best suits that track or that country. I understand that TV companies can put a lot of pressure on those that make the decisions, but surely it'd be better to run the race at the ideal time for the fans at the track? Possibly a little naive yes, but it may be the best way to go? Could today's qualifying situation have been avoided with a different, earlier start time? It may have done, it may not. Who knows. Thanks for taking the time to read my little rant on the subject. Let me know what you think by commenting below or contacting me on Twitter: @paul_godley21

Paul Godley - 16/03/2013

Nico Rosberg in the Australian rain

Top Drivers

Driver Points
Hamilton 252
Rosberg 211
Vettel 203
Raikkonen 107
Bottas 101
Massa 97



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