The Malaysian Grand Prix could be set for an earlier start time following Jules Bianchi's crash at Suzuka last year.
Bianchi crashed in increasing rain and fading light in Japan as the race had been delayed due to heavy rain earlier in the day. As part of the recommendations from a panel which investigated the crash, it was proposed that race start times should “not be less than four hours before either sunset or dusk”.
The Malaysian Grand Prix takes place at Sepang, and the circuit boss Razlan Razali says talks with Bernie Ecclestone have led to the suggestion of an earlier start time than the current 4pm slot.
"Mr Ecclestone mentioned that because of the Suzuka incident the FIA has some time limit," Razali told Reuters
. "So he is reviewing to move the start to the original time, maybe this year. For us it's good. It's a safer time bracket ... so now people can come in for lunch, watch the race and about five o'clock they can go back (home).
"He mentioned the possibility (of an earlier start). We said if you want to go back to 3pm, we fully support it."
Previous races at Sepang have been hit by heavy downpours with the late afternoon start, with the 2009 race being red flagged before 75% race distance, leading to half points being awarded.
With the recommendation not written in to the sporting regulations, Australian Grand Prix organisers last week dismissed a similar suggestion
to start the race in Melbourne earlier than the current 5pm time.