In the US, we still aren’t quite sure how we will be watching Formula 1 this year but when we do, we know we won’t see any grid girls and we also know the approximate times we’ll be watching something…presumably.
F1 announced today that they are moving race-starts back as much as 70 minutes. Races will start 10 minutes after the hour and here is the idea behind that from F1:
There are two main changes to 2017’s structure. The first is that on Sunday the race will start at ten minutes past the hour. Some broadcasters usually go on air precisely on the hour, hence missing the tension and emotion that characterize the minutes before the start of each Grand Prix. Thanks to this change, television viewers will be brought closer to the teams and the drivers and fully enjoy the spectacle offered just before the red lights go out.
The second change is to the European and Brazilian race weekends. Research has indicated that a wider TV audience is reachable later in the afternoons, especially in the summer months. Consequently, it has been decided to move the schedule of every session back by one hour across the whole weekend for each of the above-mentioned Grands Prix.
Other minor adjustments have been made in order to avoid clashes with other major sports events like the FIFA World Cup, to allow for differing sunset times, and to attract a wider attendance to promoters’ events.
It’s an interesting position in that it would lead one to believe that their broadcast provider will not be offering any pre-race coverage so 10 minutes will be elbowed out for a build-up as it were.
Something tells me that this is going to accommodate a rather spartan broadcast on ESPN but I could be completely wrong on that. I’m not sure what, “brought closer to the teams” means but perhaps they have a script and outline of what that 10 minutes will look like? Maybe they have worked out a content package for that initial 10 minutes that could be very cool?