Rubens Barrichello believes light conditions will become a problem for drivers even before half-distance of the Australian Grand Prix. With cloud cover now certain for the second race of the season, and rain a possibility at any time after the 5 p.m. start, the Williams driver has backed the view of other drivers who believe the event should have started earlier.
"After 5:30 p.m., it becomes dodgy," said Barrichello. "Friday was very, very bad, although Saturday wasn't such a problem as we all programmed ourselves a little bit better.
"All the drivers asked the race director on Friday to see if they could make a change [to the start time] because it is far too late – but, obviously, there was no change. There are a lot of implications there – but from the safety point of view it is not easy. You can't see. Last year you had the sun and the flashes of the trees and everything, but at least it is bright. Right now it is not bright. You can see the 200M and 100M board because they are shiny, but the track itself is quite dark."
When asked if the low light conditions were actually worse than being blinded by the setting sun, as happened last year, Barrichello said: "You have that moment going through the trees that you blink, but you go so fast through them. The problem with the poor visibility that you are all the time facing, is that when you go to the trees it is even darker."