Formula 1 tweaks grand prix start times

The start of the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Formula 1 has tweaked grand prix start times ahead of the 2021 season.

Later starts were introduced in 2018, with the European grands prix which make up the spine of the season typically getting underway at 15:10 local time.

That made for a 23:10 kick-off for viewers in Australia’s eastern states, and there will be little relief for such fans despite the latest change.

While start times move back to the hour, races in continental Europe will still commence an hour later than had been tradition, at 15:00 local time/23:00 AEDT.

There is also a later start again for the Australian Grand Prix, with the 58-lap race now back at 17:00 local time.

That change follows the move to a November date when sunset is forecast for 20:16 in Melbourne, as compared to a mid-March slot when daylight savings is approaching its ending.

In Bahrain, which opens the season, both qualifying and the race are due to start at 18:00 local time or 02:00 AEDT on the following morning, before a more normal schedule for Round 2 at Imola.

As previously reported, Friday practice sessions are now each an hour long instead of 90 minutes.

Pre-season testing gets underway on March 12 at Bahrain.

Formula 1 2021 session start times

Race day Grand prix Friday Saturday Sunday
Prac 1 Prac 2 Prac 3 Qual Race Sunset
Local Local Local Local NSW/VIC Local NSW/VIC
Mar 28 Bahrain 14:30–15:30 18:00–19:00 15:00–16:00 18:00–19:00 02:00-03:00 18:00 02:00 17:52
Apr 18 Imola 11:30–12:30 15:00–16:00 12:00–13:00 15:00–16:00 23:00-00:00 15:00 23:00 20:01
May 2 TBC
May 9 Spain 11:30–12:30 15:00–16:00 12:00–13:00 15:00–16:00 23:00-00:00 15:00 23:00 20:57
May 23 Monaco* 11:30–12:30 15:00–16:00 12:00–13:00 15:00–16:00 23:00-00:00 15:00 23:00 20:57
Jun 6 Azerbaijan 13:30–14:30 17:00–18:00 14:00–15:00 17:00–18:00 23:00-00:00 16:00 22:00 20:08
Jun 13 Canada 11:30–12:30 15:00–16:00 11:00–12:00 14:00–15:00 04:00-05:00 14:00 04:00 20:44
Jun 27 France 11:30–12:30 15:00–16:00 12:00–13:00 15:00–16:00 23:00-00:00 15:00 23:00 21:20
Jul 4 Austria 11:30–12:30 15:00–16:00 12:00–13:00 15:00–16:00 23:00-00:00 15:00 23:00 20:59
Jul 18 Great Britain 11:30–12:30 15:00–16:00 12:00–13:00 15:00–16:00 00:00-01:00 15:00 00:00 21:14
Aug 1 Hungary 11:30–12:30 15:00–16:00 12:00–13:00 15:00–16:00 23:00-00:00 15:00 23:00 20:17
Aug 29 Belgium 11:30–12:30 15:00–16:00 12:00–13:00 15:00–16:00 23:00-00:00 15:00 23:00 20:26
Sep 5 Netherlands 11:30–12:30 15:00–16:00 12:00–13:00 15:00–16:00 23:00-00:00 15:00 23:00 20:19
Sep 12 Italy (Monza) 11:30–12:30 15:00–16:00 12:00–13:00 15:00–16:00 23:00-00:00 15:00 23:00 19:39
Sep 26 Russia 11:30–12:30 15:00–16:00 12:00–13:00 15:00–16:00 22:00-23:00 15:00 22:00 18:11
Oct 3 Singapore 17:00–18:00 20:30–21:30 18:00–19:00 21:00–22:00 23:00-00:00 20:00 23:00 18:56
Oct 10 Japan 11:30–12:30 15:00–16:00 12:00–13:00 15:00–16:00 17:00-18:00 14:00 16:00 17:25
Oct 24 United States 11:30–12:30 15:00–16:00 13:00–14:00 16:00–17:00 08:00-09:00 14:00 06:00 18:49
Oct 31 Mexico 11:30–12:30 15:00–16:00 11:00–12:00 14:00–15:00 06:00-07:00 13:00 06:00 18:02
Nov 7 Brazil 11:30–12:30 15:00–16:00 12:00–13:00 15:00–16:00 05:00-06:00 14:00 04:00 18:24
Nov 21 Australia 12:30–13:30 16:00–17:00 14:00–15:00 17:00–18:00 17:00-18:00 17:00 17:00 20:16
Dec 5 Saudi Arabia 15:30–16:30 19:00–20:00 16:00–17:00 19:00–20:00 03:00-04:00 19:00 03:00 17:40
Dec 12 Abu Dhabi 13:30–14:30 17:00–18:00 14:00–15:00 17:00–18:00 00:00-01:00 17:00 00:00 17:35

* Practice 1 and Practice 2 on Thursday

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