Former Formula 1 team owner Peter Sauber has suggested it may not be a wise idea to make too many grands prix night-time races – a desire expressed by the sport's commercial rights-holding supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
The inaugural Singapore Grand Prix just over a week ago was adjudged to have been such a success that Ecclestone hinted at more outings under floodlights in years to come, possibly beginning with Japan [see separate story – click here
Whilst agreeing that the race around the Marina Bay Street Circuit – and against the dramatic backdrop of the Far Eastern city-state's downtown skyline – had provided an impressive spectacle and likely generated higher European television viewing audiences due to its more attractive time slot, 64-year-old Sauber retained his reservations, not least should the dreaded spectre of heavy rain that threatened to pour down over Singapore materialise in future night-time grands prix.
“I would urge caution on this,” Sauber – now a small shareholder and consultant for BMW-Sauber – wrote in his regular column for Swiss newspaper Blick
, states F1SA
“There are also tracks that would [at night] seem like no-man's land and look like a computer game. That was the impression I got from the pictures I saw of the MotoGP in Qatar.
“An important question remains even after Singapore – what effect will the artificial light have when it rains? Change in F1 is definitely good, but we should not get carried away.
“In my opinion, a maximum of two night races per season would be enough.”