A heads-up to anyone who plans to be in front of the television at an inhuman hour to watch the cars line up on the grid for the first race of the season – we’re guessing that’s quite a few of you.
A compromise from race organiser Ron Walker means that the starting gun will sound 90 minutes later than previously scheduled. That’s still 4.30am here in Britain – but hey, come on, at least it’s better than 3am, isn’t it?
The BBC reports Australian officials as saying that if the move is successful in increasing television ratings they will push the start back another 90 minutes to 5pm (0600 GMT) for 2009.
On the subject of next year’s race, there’s some controversy over the future of the Australian Grand Prix, with Bernie Ecclestone in his perpetual quest to slim down the calendar claiming that the time difference means only a night race will be acceptable in future.
Australian organisers and politicians think that’s a very tall order – so we’ll have to see what happens in 2009.
Now all you have to do is decide whether you plan to stay up late – or get up early.
Here are details of the UK television and radio coverage:
- Australian Grand Prix preview with David Croft, Maurice Hamilton and Holly Samos – Friday March 14, Radio Five Live, 9.30pm to 10pm
- Australian Grand Prix qualifying – Saturday March 15, 2.15am, ITV1
- Australian Grand Prix qualifying – Saturday March 15, from 3am, Radio Five Live
- Australian Grand Prix qualifying (repeat) – Saturday March 15, 1.20pm, ITV1
- Australian Grand Prix live – Sunday March 16, 4am, Radio Five Live
- Australian Grand Prix live – Sunday 16 March 3.30am ITV1 London
- Australian Grand Prix repeat – Sunday 16 March 3pm ITV1 London
- Australian Grand Prix highlights – Monday 17 March, 12.15am ITV1 London
- Australian Grand Prix highlights – Monday 17 March, 6pm, ITV4