• Australian Grand Prix

Ecclestone pushing for Australian night race

ESPNF1 Staff
October 24, 2009 « Mercedes buys Brawn GP | »

Bernie Ecclestone has stepped up his efforts to push for a night race at the Australian Grand Prix. The F1 chief successfully argued a 'twilight' race for the 2009 event, pushing the start time back to 5pm local time in order to maximise European TV viewing figures.

The Australian organisers grudgingly accepted a six-year contract for the event to be staged at dusk, and following the 2009 season's opening race drivers complained about sun glare and long shadows. Now Ecclestone has renewed talks of a night race akin to the Singapore Grand Prix in September, claiming to be in talks with race organisers.

"When you say last year was twilight, I don't know how twilight it was," said Ecclestone. "The later we can get that race, the better it is for us. Ron [Walker, Australian GP chairman] and I are talking about all these things," Ecclestone added.

However, a spokesman for the Victorian government insisted the issue was non-negotiable. "We have a firm position on when the race should be held," he said. "Bernie Ecclestone is well aware of that position and the time of the race will not be moved."

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