As it turns out, the Russian Grand Prix isn’t the only Formula One race on the 2015 calendar with an earlier start time than last year.
In addition to that event, the Grands Prix for Australia, Malaysia, China, and Japan have also been listed with a local start time that’s one hour earlier than its 2014 events.
This new information comes from a document released by Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management group.
It bears noting that after Jules Bianchi’s horrific crash in last October’s rainy Japanese Grand Prix, the FIA recommended in its panel report on the accident that all events (outside of night races) have their start times “not be less than four hours before either sunset or dusk.”
The season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 15 now shifts to a 4 p.m. local start time (1 a.m. ET in the United States), while the Malaysian Grand Prix has received the 3 p.m. local time (3 a.m. ET, U.S.) it had sought for its March 29 event.
The Chinese Grand Prix on April 12 goes to a 2 p.m. local time (2 a.m. ET, U.S.), and the Japanese (Sept. 27; Midnight ET, U.S.) and Russian (Oct. 11; 6 a.m. ET, U.S.) events will also move to that same local time. Russian GP promoters had already confirmed their event’s move last week.