Should this weekend's inaugural Singapore Grand Prix night race turn out to be a success, Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that he hopes to persuade other countries in the area to follow suit – beginning with Japan.
The Singapore outing will break new ground for the top flight, becoming the first race since the official inception of the world championship all the way back in 1950 to take place under floodlights – a move taken to guarantee a more attractive time slot for European television viewers, as well as adding a further dash of uncertainty into the sport.
“Everybody's wondering what's going to happen,” Ecclestone underlined in an interview with BBC Radio Five Live
. “That's what's nice about it.
“We'll have to see afterwards exactly how it comes out. We've done all of this for the TV, so we should see now what happens. I hope it's a good race; at least it'll be different, that's for sure.”
That much does seem guaranteed, even if drivers have expressed concerns at what effect the floodlights – said to be four times more powerful than those used in football stadiums – will have on the track surface should it rain. Glare from the puddles is expected to be one of the major talking-points of the weekend, if the heavens do indeed open as is anticipated.
Ecclestone, however, remains unfazed, buoyed by the extra interest in F1 that the night-time initiative has generated and, when asked if more such projects are in the pipeline for the future, responding: “If we have more races in this part of the world, yes.
“We're going to try to get Japan to do it. I hope when people see Singapore they [will] realise it wasn't a stupid idea.”