Ecclestone plans more night races

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The Independent Online

Formula One is pushing for more night races in Asia the sport's supremo Bernie Ecclestone said today.

Ecclestone is trackside in Singapore to witness the first ever F1 night race and believes other Asian nations will witness the advantage of night racing.

Asked if more night races in Asia — for afternoon viewing in Europe — was on the agenda, Ecclestone was enthusiastic.

"If we had more races in this part of the world, yes," Ecclestone said.

"We're going to try to get Japan to do it.

"It will be prime time in China and this part of the world and in Europe it will be at a sociable hour to watch rather than the middle of the night.

"I hope when people see this they realise it wasn't just a stupid idea."

Ecclestone, president and chief executive of Formula One Management, said there was no push to introduce a European night race onto the F1 calendar even if the television audience would be marginally boosted.

"It's not cheap and I don't think there's much advantage," Ecclestone said.

The Singapore race is the first grand prix since the worst ramifications of the global credit crisis have emerged.

In the world's most expensive sport, heavily reliant upon sponsor revenue, there was speculation that a global economic turndown could have a severe impact upon F1, but Ecclestone was not perturbed.

"I suppose like the rest of the world, it will have some side affects but what they'll be I don't know," Ecclestone said.

"We have long-term contracts with people, so I don't see any problem."