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Alonso predicts more night races.


Fernando Alonso has said that he expects to see more night races added to the Formula One schedule following the success of the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix at the weekend.

The Spaniard made full use of an early safety car period to claim victory in the first F1 race held under lights and, like the majority of the paddock, enjoyed the whole 'after dark' experience laid on by the city state to mark its debut on the calendar.

Even before Singapore had taken its bow, however, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone had suggested that there could - and should - be more floodlit events, particularly from Asia to bring start times into line with peak viewing hours in Europe, and Alonso admits that he can see the innovation being expanded in coming seasons.

"It was a great weekend for all of us," the double world champion claimed, "We all had a new challenge in front of us and we will be part of history, the first night race in Formula One. It was a great weekend for everyone in Formula One, and there will be many more to come, as I think the experience was great. We had no problems and I think the people will enjoy more this type of races. It will not all be night races, but some of them can be at night as the spirit was good."

While Australia has compromised by shifting its race start to late afternoon in order to accommodate Ecclestone's desire to reward viewing figures in F1's European heartland, other event are being targeted to follow the path laid by Singapore. Japan and China are the latest candidates, although Malaysia - which had been thought most likely to follow its near neighbour - claimed over the weekend that it would not be illuminating Sepang and was more inclined to emulate the Australian solution. Sepang International Circuit boss Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir confirmed during the weekend that his event's deal with FOM had been altered to accommodate a later start.

“We'll have to see afterwards exactly how it comes out," Ecclestone told the BBC on the eve of the Singapore race, "We've done all of this for the TV, so we should see now what happens.

“If we have more races in this part of the world, [then more will be floodlit]. 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.”

Singapore provided perhaps the best backdrop for a night race, however, with the city skyline lit up in sympathy with the 1600 projectors that illuminated the 23-turn circuit. Whether Fuji, Suzuki or the equally remote Shanghai International Circuit would provide such drama is unlikely.

"To be honest, during the race, it felt pretty much like all the races do," Lewis Hamilton admitted after the Singapore race, "It felt like we were in the daylight.

"I didn't particularly notice it was night time, but the track and the facilities here have been phenomenal all weekend. They really have done an amazing job, and I am very, very proud of the job they've done. I hope that we can come again next year, I look forward to it."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R28, Singapore F1 Grand Prix, 26th-28th, September 2008
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 leads Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Luis Fernando Ramos (BRA), Journalist
27.11.2016 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16

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