Bernie Ecclestone appears to be increasingly getting his way in terms of securing more night races on the Formula 1 calendar - though he could find it somewhat more difficult in persuading China and Australia to follow suit.

Following the sport's inaugural night race to be held in Singapore in August this year, it now looks almost certain that the Malaysian Grand Prix will become F1's second race to take place under floodlights, with Ecclestone keen to convert all Southeast Asian grands prix to evening events in order for them to be broadcast live at peak European viewing times, thereby generating optimum TV audiences and revenue.

"After ten years as F1 hosts, it is a natural progression for Sepang to prepare to switch to a night race and we want to do it next year if it is feasible," Sepang circuit general manager Azmi Murad told Malaysia's Star newspaper.

Despite having previously insisted they were undecided over the benefits of holding a night-time event, Malaysian officials were visited at the weekend by the lighting team responsible for setting up the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix. One of the advantages of staging the Sepang race at night would be cooler temperatures for both drivers and spectators - the 2008 Malaysian Grand Prix saw temperatures rise above a stifling 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ecclestone is also putting pressure on China, Australia and South Korea - which will welcome F1 from 2010 - to become night-time races, but he is staunch facing opposition from at least two of them. China remains unconvinced by the prospect of racing under the stars, whilst Australia - whose contract to host the sport expires in 2010 - has been threatened with the loss of the grand prix it has held every year since 1985 should it not move to a night race, something event organisers have repeatedly re-iterated is not an option.

"We'll speak to the people in China [and] see what we can do there," the F1 supremo told the Bloomberg news service. "Obviously when we race in South Korea, it will be good to have a night race [there as well].

"[With Australia] there are no kids involved so we haven't got a big problem. We wouldn't renew our contract."

The 77-year-old is due to meet with Australian Grand Prix officials next month.