F1 Pushes Back Start Times Because Americans Can't Wake Up Early

It's only one hour, but still, at least Californians won't have to wake up at 5 a.m. anymore to watch races.

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Getty ImagesAnadolu Agency

Formula One announced today some generous changes to its race weekend start times. European races have been pushed back an hour to reach a wider audience—and by "wider audience," of course, we mean America.

You see, for the longest time, F1 races in Europe have been scheduled to start at 2 pm local time. That's pretty normal for viewers on the continent, but inconvenient for those of us on the other side of the ocean who had to wake up extra-early to catch the start of the race. If you lived in California and wanted to watch the Italian Grand Prix last year, for example, you had to wake up at 5 am on a Sunday. Not the greatest schedule for a racing series trying to gain presence in North America.

F1 knows this, so it's decided to push back the races by one hour.

"Research has indicated that a wider TV audience is reachable later in the afternoons, especially in the summer months," the organization said in a press release. "Consequently, it has been decided to move the schedule of every session back by one hour across the whole weekend for each of the [European and Brazilian] Grands Prix."

In addition, F1 has decided to start races ten minutes past the hour, instead of on the hour—the better to align with broadcasting needs.

Now, F1 fans in California will be able to sleep in until 6:10 am, which honestly still kind of sucks. But for those on the East coast, races will start at 9:10 a.m., which isn't that bad. Baby steps, I guess.

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