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Azerbaijan in talks to change F1 race start time

  • Published on 01 Apr 2016 17:47
  • comments 0
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Organisers of June's inaugural grand prix in Azerbaijan are in talks with Bernie Ecclestone to tweak the race start time. Nico Hulkenberg, the 2015 Le Mans winner, is unable to defend his title this year because F1's first ever race on the streets of Baku is taking place on the same weekend as the fabled 24 hour sports car race in France.

F1 has scheduled a 6pm local start in Baku, which coincides with the very end of the famous 24 hour sports car race taking place in France on June 19. But it now emerges that the Azerbaijan government has in fact cancelled this year's onset of daylight saving time. A science committee got together some days ago and, according to Baku's F1 chief Arif Rahimov, "They did research as to whether or not this (daylight saving) actually helps anything."

Azerbaijan's daylight savings has been in place since 1997. "There was a science committee that decided that it (daylight saving) is not really worth it," Rahimov told GMM partner Autosport Middle East. Now, Baku F1 organisers have lodged a request to Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Management with a plan to adjust the race start.

"We're still talking to FOM and the FIA," said Rahimov. "Obviously now that we've cancelled the daylight saving time, there might be a change in (race) time. We've proposed something to Formula One Management and we're expecting them to come back to us very soon -- within probably the next couple of weeks I hope."

There had been concerns that the original 6pm start time, designed with daylight savings in mind, might mean the drivers are negotiating fading light by the end. So when asked if the proposed new race time will still avoid the Le Mans timing clash, Rahimov answered: "Yes, basically what we had before was that Le Mans finishes at 3pm European time, and our race starts at 3pm European time. So with the time change now, if we bring it back one hour, it will be in line with what we have in terms of the European times, so yes it will still avoid the clash." (GMM)

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Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Bahrain
26 - Mar 28
Bahrain
16 - Apr 18
Italy
7 - May 9
Spain
20 - May 23
Monaco
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan
18 - Jun 20
France
25 - Jun 27
Austria
2 - Jul 4
Austria
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom
30 - Aug 1
Hungary
27 - Aug 29
Belgium
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands
10 - Sep 12
Italy
24 - Sep 26
Russian
1 - Oct 3
Singapore
8 - Oct 10
Japan
22 - Oct 24
United States of America
29 - Oct 31
Mexico
5 - Nov 7
Brazil
19 - Nov 21
Australia
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
26 - Mar 28
16 - Apr 18
7 - May 9
20 - May 23
Monaco Monte Carlo
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
18 - Jun 20
France Paul Ricard
25 - Jun 27
Austria Red Bull Ring
2 - Jul 4
Austria Red Bull Ring
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom Silverstone
30 - Aug 1
Hungary Hungaroring
27 - Aug 29
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
10 - Sep 12
Italy Monza
24 - Sep 26
Russian Sochi Autodrom
1 - Oct 3
8 - Oct 10
22 - Oct 24
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
29 - Oct 31
5 - Nov 7
Brazil Interlagos
19 - Nov 21
Australia Albert Park
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
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