Ecclestone Hails Twilight Racing in 2009

Bernie Ecclestone insisted that “twilight racing” has so far proven a success in Formula 1 and has no plans whatsoever to scrap the concept from the calendar in the years to come. The F1 boss reiterated his desire to make the non-European rounds of the series more visible to the racing fans on the old continent, and argued the delay in starting time for the Australian and Malaysian races have so far proved a great success in terms of worldwide audience.

All our TV up to now has been up 300 per cent. We have been getting more than 50 per cent of the market share,” said Ecclestone in an interview for British newspaper The Independent.

The “twilight race” concept set up by Ecclestone this year has attracted the criticism of almost all F1 drivers in the paddock. Due to the starting delay of the two aforementioned races in 2009, the drivers complained about poor visibility and low light conditions.

After a light-affected Aussie GP, the heavy rain in Malaysia made it impossible for the F1 drivers to resume racing after only 34 laps. Had the race started earlier that Sunday – as initially planned by the Malaysian organizers – the action would have happened all the way to the chequered flag. Also, in the optimistic case of the rain finally settling down, the late hour would have made it impossible for the race to re-start later on.

Not only did Ecclestone remain unchanged in his desire to maintain the race schedule as in 2009 – when talking about Melbourne and Sepang only – but he also announced the Malaysian track could soon join Singapore in hosting a night race in Formula 1.

Although announced by Bernie, the news is yet to receive confirmation from the Malaysian officials.
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