Light conditions were a concern for many drivers

The start time of next year’s Australian GP looks set to be returned to its 2009 start time of 4pm local time after the FIA-conducted light tests from last weekend confirmed the light conditions were too poor.

Can we look at returning the race to its traditional 2pm timeslot???

Following the 2009 race, where many drivers had been vocal in their complaints about the setting sun in their eyes, Formula One Management decided to ignore their opinions and start the race an hour later for 2010.

The drivers complained further, the FIA stepped in and brought out the light meters for this year’s race, and came to the conclusion that the brightness was below the minimum standards deemed acceptable for night race conditions.

The start time of the Australian GP was shifted in 2009 to cater for the European TV audience – the bulk of the worldwide viewership – not having to get up in the early hours of Sunday morning to watch the race live.

Never mind the fact that we have to do this on virtually every Grand Prix weekend here in Australia!

It is believed that the FIA has now requested the start be brought forward again.

The start time of the race will have to be determined by Australian Grand Prix organisers at the behest of in conjunction with Formula 1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone.

Michael Schumacher was one of several drivers to welcome the consideration of a start time change for the 2011 Australian GP.

"I think Bernie Ecclestone somebody else decides whether we run at four or five or whatever time of the year. I just know that in Australia it was certainly over the limit," he said. "By the end of the race it was certainly too dark and I understand the FIA has measured this and will take action for next year.

"But at least there seem to be some guidelines now as to what light conditions you have to have as a minimum for the future."

[Original image via AUTOSPORT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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