Baku organisers have confirmed that the start time of their inaugural Formula 1 race will move forward an hour to 5pm, as predicted by Motorsport.com.
The move has been forced on organisers after the Azerbaijan government announced last month that it was scrapping Daylight Saving Time (DST) amid economic pressure.
The decision to call off a change of clocks going forward meant that the original scheduled 6pm start would have to be changed – because sunset would now be happening at 8.14pm on the day of the race.
Following consultation with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone over the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, Baku promoter Arif Rahimov confirmed on Sunday that a change of plan had been agreed.
“We had a verbal confirmation about a week ago, just after Australia, and now I have seen that it is on the F1 calendar and it is confirmed we have transferred the start time to 5pm,” he said.
“It will be the same time for Europe, which is a 3pm start – so after the Le Mans [24 Hours] race.”
Although the race shifts forward by an hour in Baku, it will still take place at the same time for audiences elsewhere where the clocks have changed – meaning it begins just as Le Mans ends.