Nico Rosberg has called on those behind this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix to bring the start of the race forward by at least an hour in an effort to alleviate the problems he and his rivals struggled with in the closing stages of the Australian season-opener last Sunday.
The German was not alone in reporting problems with the fading light and setting sun after the Melbourne race accommodated European race audiences by delaying its start to 5pm local time and, with this weekend's event at Sepang due to follow suit, has become more vocal in his opposition to the initiative.
“In Melbourne, I found this a big concern as, towards the end of the race, the visibility was very poor," Rosberg confessed, "It increased the danger in my view as it was more likely that you could make a mistake. I'd rather the race changed back to its original start time or became a proper night race - that would improve matters a lot. ”
Not averse the F1 moving its schedule about after finishing second in last year's inaugural night race on the streets of Singapore - when the track was brightly illuminated - the Williams driver also suggested that the revised date of the Malaysian round could cause additional problems.
“The climate makes the racing very demanding for driver and machine - and the heat and humidity means that it is physically exhausting," he noted, "This is one track where the fitness training over the winter really pays off - but, if the monsoon comes down, the race is going to have to be stopped because we can't race and drive with that amount of water."
Rosberg set the initial pace during the Melbourne weekend, topping each of the three free practice sessions, but qualified only fifth and was classified sixth after a ragged race. His result also remains provisional pending the appeal against Williams' radical diffuser design
“Of course, we would have liked to have achieved more in Melbourne, but three solid points was a good start," he concluded, "More encouraging was our pace, as we were right there with the quickest, which makes me hopeful for a good season.”