The 2018 Formula 1 season gets underway in Australia this weekend. And while not much has changed in terms of on-track rules, the sport’s bosses, Liberty Media, have been doing lots of tinkering elsewhere.

Now, quite enough has been written about getting rid of grid girls, so let’s not get into that here. Except to note that, in a sport as high-tech as F1, it’s amazing nobody has yet invented a better way to tell drivers where to park on the grid than a numbered wooden pole that needs to be held up manually.

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Other notable but hardly revolutionary changes include a new F1 logo (my reaction: meh), and theme tune (no, it’s not The Chain). The sport even has a new ‘tagline’: Engineered Insanity.

No, me neither.

Still, shoving two unrelated words together into one largely meaningless phrase is at least evidence of the welcome attempts by Liberty Media to make the sport more accessible in the post-Bernie Ecclestone era – although most of the above equate to little more than redecorating a house you’ve just bought. At some point, Liberty Media will need to do some proper rebuilding work on the foundations.

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But Liberty has made one change that could actually have a fairly substantial impact on how most people watch F1: it’s moving the start times of races.

Races – or, if we’re being picky, parade laps – will start at ten minutes past the hour, rather than on the hour. According to F1 bosses, this is because many broadcasters go on air on the hour, so the delay means “television spectators will be brought closer to the teams and the drivers and fully enjoy the spectacle offered just before the red lights go off".

I’m not sure that stacks up, since F1 is increasingly aired on pay broadcasters, with more pre-race build-up than ever. Sky, for example, begins its pre-amble 90 minutes before the start. Still, an extra ten minutes to prepare a pre-race coffee isn’t exactly a hardship.

More significantly, the start time of the European races has been pushed back a full hour, due to research that “a wider TV audience is reachable later in the afternoon.”

For British viewers, that means European races will start at 14.10, rather than 13.00. And the French GP on June 24 has been pushed back to 15.10 BST to avoid clashing with the England vs Panama World Cup match (although it does now clash with the vital Japan vs Senegal encounter).