5 F1 grand prix to start one hour earlier this year

PARIS (AP) Five Formula One races will start an hour earlier this year for safety reasons in the wake of Jules Bianchi’s crash at the Japanese GP last year.

FIA announced on Tuesday that the races in Australia, Malaysia, China, Japan and Russia have all been brought forward an hour, in accordance with the FIA accident panel’s recommendations.

After Bianchi’s life-threatening crash into a mobile crane beside the track at Suzuka, the panel proposed that no race should start ”less than four hours before either sunset or dusk, except in the case of night races.”

According to FIA’s start-time document, the season-opening Australian GP in Melbourne will begin at 4 p.m. local time (0500 GMT), and the Malaysian GP at 3 p.m. (0700 GMT).

The three other grand prix affected by the change will begin at 2 p.m. local time.