Malaysian GP open to night race idea
Malaysian Grand Prix chiefs have softened their resistance to making their event a night race in the wake of the problems caused by this year's twilight event.
With race organizers, drivers and teams questioning whether the 5pm starts at the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix were of benefit because of safety issues, there is now a possibility that Sepang could shift to being run under floodlights.
Sepang circuit chairman Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir has told the New Strait Times that his track was open to moving the start of next year's race in whichever direction Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone demands.
"After every race, we have discussions with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone to see where we can improve," he said. "The question of having the race earlier or at night will be finalized soon."
However, with F1 likely to take on board the lessons of MotoGP's season opening night race in Qatar getting postponed because of rain, Mahathir has admitted that holding an after dark race may not please everyone.
"What if it rains at 3pm? And what if it rains at night? The raindrops would reflect the floodlights which would in turn affect the visibility of the drivers.
"And then again there were objections to holding the race at night because they wanted the skyline to be visible during racing. How will the skyline be visible if we have the race at night? So there must be a balance for everything."
Mahathir has said, however, that if F1 bosses want a night race then he believes Sepang would be able to cover the $8.2 million costs.