The organisers of the Australian Grand Prix say the start time of the race will not change despite guidance from the FIA.
The panel set up to investigate Jules Bianchi's accident in the Japanese Grand Prix last year made a recommendation of a compulsory earlier start time
– excluding night races – as the race in Suzuka saw the closing laps taking place in fading light.
“It is proposed that a regulation or guideline be established such that the start time of an event shall not be less than four hours before either sunset or dusk,” the recommendation in the report said.
However, that proposal has not become a regulation in the latest version of the sporting regulations, and Australian Grand Prix chief executive Andrew Westacott says Melbourne will retain its 5pm start time for broadcasting purposes.
“The race time will remain at 5pm as per agreement with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation and Formula One management, which means Melbourne, as the opening race of the season, airs in Asia at lunchtime and Europe at breakfast,” Westacott told Fox Sports