F1 bosses plan radical TV change in bid to be flexible amid severe weather delays

F1 preview: A lap of the Belgian Grand Prix

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F1 bosses are planning a shake-up which could see race start time changes for TV more flexible. The higher-ups are keen to make the change to ensure adverse weather conditions do not impact future Grand Prix races.

The rain has had a significant impact on motorsport this season, as the Belgian GP ran for just two laps after the rain made it impossible for a full race to be completed.

The Formula 3 season decider was then moved back a day at last weekend’s race in Russia, amid predictions of heavy downpour.

Rain was expected to impact this weekend’s F1 Russian GP, which it did, but not until the final few laps of the race.

Race director Michael Masi has revealed conversations will begin about more flexible start times in the coming weeks.

On how start times are formulated, Masi said: “I think it’s something that we’re going to be discussing in the coming weeks.

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“We said following Spa that there’s obviously a whole lot of strategic discussions that need to take place between the FIA, F1 and the ten teams, and that’s going to be one of the discussions at the Strategy Group meeting.

“It’s not just a ‘pluck it out’ scenario, we’re talking about two completely separate governance structures between the three championships.”

That last statement is perhaps referring to the decision being a knee-jerk reaction for the Belgian GP debacle.

The race sparked calls from teams, fans and F1 drivers alike to rethink the handling of severe weather in races going forward.

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An Alfa Romeo statement after the Belgian GP declared: “The situation would have been dealt with a lot more appropriately by not having at all the ‘race’ we witnessed.

“This outcome hurts us all, but in particular it hurts fans of the sport, who didn’t get the show they came to see.

“We hope lessons were learnt yesterday, lessons that will improve the way we operate in the future and that put the supporters of our sport in the position they deserve to be.”

Former racer and Sky Sports pundit Martin Brundle wrote: “The trouble is in Formula One that every rule change always has unintended consequences and opportunities, and so they end up being so convoluted.

“Every so often they need a reset and that moment is here.”

After a chaotic Russian GP in which the rain played a significant part towards the race’s conclusion, the drivers will head to Istanbul for the Turkish GP next weekend.

Will Hamilton, who secured his 100th race win in Sochi on Sunday, be able to extend his slender two point lead over Max Verstappen? Or will the Red Bull driver regain the lead over his arch rival?

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