Despite Formula 1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone's assertion that – should this weekend's inaugural Singapore Grand Prix night race turn out to be a success – he wants more floodlit Far Eastern events on the calendar in the future [see separate story – click here
], Malaysia has insisted it will not be one of them.
Ecclestone is keen on holding as many grands prix as possible in the Pacific Rim area in the evening, in order for them to be broadcast at a far more palatable time for key European viewing audiences – therefore satisfying the fans, sponsors and on-site spectators, who will be able to soak up the F1 atmosphere 'after dark'.
Whilst the 77-year-old has hinted that he would be keen for countries such as Malaysia, Japan, China and Australia to follow Singapore's lead, the former has stressed that a night race is emphatically not
Sepang International Circuit boss Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir revealed to local newspaper The Star
that the track's F1 deal has been altered simply to accommodate a delayed race start, claiming that Ecclestone 'has agreed' that Malaysia does not need to become a night race, principally due to organisers' concerns about the cost of installing lighting infrastructure.
“It will still be daylight,” Mahathir is quoted as having said by F1SA
, “and about 7pm, when the new race finishes, for fans in Europe and Britain it would be about 10am. We are not going to lose out.”