Why has the starting time of the Australian GP changed?

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The 2024 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix will mark an early start for European fans, with the race getting underway at 05:00 CET/04:00 GMT.

This marks an earlier start from last year despite the race remaining in a 15:00 slot in Melbourne.

Drivers have complained in the past of the sunset in Australia hindering their vision towards the end of the Grand Prix. There was an extreme version of this last year when multiple red flags caused delays to the race.

However, this year’s Australian Grand Prix is being held earlier than the 2023 edition, meaning the clock change to recognise Daylight Savings Time has not yet taken effect.

Any option to start the race at 16:00 local time in Melbourne would have likely resulted in more difficulties towards the end of the race with the sun low in the sky.

An earlier time slot in Europe will be in play with clocks set to change at the end of March, one week after the Australian Grand Prix.

As a result, fans will have to wake up earlier than usual to catch the race live.

Max Verstappen enters the weekend hoping to make it three race wins from three at the start of the 2024 season, while Ferrari aims to mount a challenge on Red Bull.

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