Formula 1 has discussed the possibility of turning the Australian Grand Prix weekend into a night-race event.
Night races have been increasing in popularity over the last number of years, with the first being the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
Now, the events in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi all take place under the lights.
The Australian Grand Prix has long been present on F1’s calendar, with Albert Park in Melbourne being the host since 1996.
It has a long-term deal in place with the sport and will be an annual event until at least the 2037 season.
Australian GP boss Andrew Westacott, who will depart his role later this year, told Sky Sports that the race organisers should keep an open mind over transitioning to a night time race.
“[For] the [Australian Grand Prix] Corporation, the preference is in the [race happening in] sunshine,” said Westacott.
“But what I would also say is, as you evolve the one thing that Victoria does well is innovate in major events.
“You’ve got to look at the 15-year horizon now and that’s why the Victorian government saw that this [a long-term deal with F1] was important to secure – you can actually do things into the future.
“The great thing is we’ve had a partnership with Formula 1 since 1996 and therefore you can do these things with a very strong relationship. So be open-minded is probably the simple answer.”
Stefano Domenicali says that he has already discussed the possibility with race organisers and hinted that it could be implemented in the future.
“We discussed about it, why not?” Mr Domenicali told The Australian Financial Review.
“It’s a matter of investment …. but it could be attractive, that’s why when you plan [ahead] for so long, you can really think what is the best to create new products.”
Turning the event into a night race would require considerable investment, as there are currently no lighting mechanisms set up around the track.
However, the move would likely be welcomed by European fans due to the time zone difference in Australia.
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