As the game does not have any AOE weapons, the sparse formation of a fleet at the battle start doesn't make any sense.
Almost each battle starts with missile salvos, so keeping the ships as close to each other as it gets ensures maximum PD effectiveness.
Also, there's no need to form ships into different battle groups, as all beams and kinetics don't really differ in effective fire range.
And even if you want to play cavalry with some ships (there's no case in which you need to), a close formation won't obstruct that as ships can "jump" over each other.
Currently each battle (at least for me) starts with coalescing that sickle formation into a coherent fist.
So why not start the battle in dense formation from the beginning?