Bernie Ecclestone got the Australian Grand Prix promoters to run their Grand Prix as a ‘twilight race’ this year to suit European television audiences better.
But he’s still pushing for the event to be turned into a night race like the Singapore Grand Prix. He told the Herald Sun:
The later we can get the race, the better it is for us. Ron (Walker) and I are talking about all these things.
It’s hard to see how the race can started any later without the track needing artificial lighting, which would be a huge expense. The last two races lost AUS$40m (£22.59m / $36.85m) each.
Twilight races bring problems of their own: if a race is delayed the onset of nightfall means there’s no time left to get it finished, as happened at this year’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
And several drivers were unhappy with the low light levels at the end of this year’s Australian Grand Prix.
I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect every race around the world to be held at a time that best suits European viewers. Particularly in a country where there’s more than enough local interest to support the race.
If Ecclestone is that keen to keep European television audiences happy he should re-think his policy if reducing the proportion of races held in Europe.
Twilight and night races