Malaysia to Push for Earlier Race

Although most of the drivers have complained about twilight races after the first two grands prix of the season, Bernie Ecclestone seems in no rush to revise the time schedule for both the Australian and Malaysia races in the years to come. Aimed as a way to improve media coverage in Europe, the new starting hours have caused nothing but chaos on the circuit.

After Nico Rosberg and Jarno Trulli stated their disagreement with the new twilight concept following the Melbourne race, Sepang witnessed the first Grand Prix stopped before time in F1's modern era. Of course, one might argue it was the rain to blame. Nevertheless, although the weather showed visible signs of improvement, the action on Sunday was not possible due to poor visibility.

The Malaysian prime minister announced he will personally discuss the matter with the people in charge of the time schedule to prevent situations such as these from happening in the future. Had the race started at 2 PM (instead of 5 PM), there was a good change the F1 drivers would have resumed the race later on. Another alternative to the problem would be moving the race at night, but that would prove rather costy.

“In the future, we may allocate a different time, perhaps earlier. There are also suggestions to do a night race but we need to look at the cost,” argued the new prime minister Najib Razak.

Nevertheless, talking to British magazine Autosport shortly after the Sepang race, Ecclestone insisted he would not change the schedule for nothing. According to the F1 supremo, only the rainy conditions were to blame for the Malaysia fiasco.

“I just have regrets about the rain. I don't see anything wrong with the start time, we just didn't know about the rain. If we had started at 2pm then it would have rained as well,” said Ecclestone. However, he avoided expressing his thoughts on the several complaints issued by F1 drivers following the Australian race.

BMW Motorsport director Mario Theissen also backed the drivers on the matter: “We should not have a twilight race. Either we have a race without lighting, then it should finish earlier, or we have a night race and you can go on when you want. Here it was on the edge. It would have been on the edge in dry conditions and I have heard before that they are discussing to pull it forward again for next year.”
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