• Malaysian Grand Prix

Malaysia considering night-race switch

ESPNF1 Staff
March 8, 2011 « FIA delays Bahrain GP decision until May | »
Hosting the Malaysian race after dark could increase attendances © Sutton Images
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Organisers of the Malaysian Grand Prix are continuing to look in to the possibility of holding the race at night.

After circuit boss Razlan Razali mooted the idea last month, Sepang International Circuit chairman Mokhzani Mahathir has added his belief that the move could help to boost dwindling attendances.

Currently only the Singapore race completely takes place after dark, while the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi is also floodlit as it holds its race in the evening.

"I think a night race will be interesting," Mokhzani said at the start of a month-long campaign to increase ticket sales. "The F1 race at night will be cooler. In Qatar and Singapore, we see it works."

The high temperatures have been blamed for the decline in numbers attending the race, which have dropped from a peak of 140,000 across three days in 2006 to just 97,000 last year.

Mokhzani has estimated that it would cost the circuit around $15 million to completely light the track, while Bernie Ecclestone would be expected to back the idea, as later start times for races in Asia mean they take place at a more convenient time for European audiences.