Reasons Behind the Australian Grand Prix Start Time Change

The Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne will start at 15:00 local time to avoid the low sun issues faced by drivers last year, resulting in an early morning start for European fans due to the time difference not yet adjusted by daylight saving changes.


‣ The Australian Grand Prix’s start time was adjusted to 15:00 local time in Melbourne to address drivers’ complaints about the low sun in the closing stages of the previous race.

‣ The time change means an early start for European Formula One fans, with the race beginning at 5am CET/4am UK time, due to the time difference not yet adjusted for daylight saving in both regions.

‣ The decision to maintain the race start at 15:00 local time, despite the potential for a more Europe-friendly start time, prioritizes driver safety over viewer convenience.

Oh, the joys of being a Formula One fan in Europe, right? Brace yourselves, folks. It’s gonna be an early one this time around. Picture this: It’s Sunday, 24 March, and while Melbourne basks in the afternoon glow at just past 3 PM, Europeans are… well, they’re barely opening their eyes at 5 AM CET/4 AM UK time. Remember last year? We had the luxury of starting at a more humane 7 AM CET/6 AM UK time. So, what’s with the change?

Now, here’s the kicker. After last year’s Australian Grand Prix wrapped up, the drivers were not exactly singing praises. Nope. They had a bone to pick with the low sun during the race’s final act. And who could blame them? The race was a stop-and-go affair, thanks to a slew of red flags. As dusk crept over the Albert Park circuit, visibility took a nosedive.

Summertime in Melbourne

So, in a bid to keep the drivers happy (and, you know, actually seeing the track), the powers that be decided on a 15:00 start time again this year. But hold on, there’s a twist. Melbourne’s playing a different game this time. Unlike last year, winter’s chill hasn’t set in yet. And over in Europe? Daylight saving time is still on a break, leaving us with a yawning 10-hour time difference.

For the die-hard European fans, there was a glimmer of hope. Maybe, just maybe, they’d push the start to 16:00 local time? But alas, that pesky low sun would’ve been the unwelcome guest at the party, potentially throwing shade (quite literally) on the drivers’ day. So, here we are, setting alarms for an ungodly hour, all in the name of love for the sport.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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