Ferrari's Felipe Massa says Malaysia's race abortion was a warning not to stage evening races

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    Ross
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    Ferrari's Felipe Massa says Malaysia's race abortion was a warning not to stage evening races

    Post by Ross on 5th April 2009, 14:42

    Massa: Sepang a warning to scrap twilight races




    Felipe Massa says the abandonment of the Malaysian Grand Prix has sent Formula 1 “a clear message” that ‘twilight’ races should not be held in future.

    Both the venues for the season’s opening two rounds, Melbourne and Sepang, agreed to hold their race at 5pm local time for this year to appease Bernie Ecclestone’s requests to stage the events at more convenient times for the sport’s core European TV audience.

    But after drivers complained that dwindling light last week in Australia created visibility problems late in the race, several voiced fears that the similarly late start-time in Malaysia could cause the same issues especially if the event was hit by late-afternoon rain storms as is common in the region.

    A forecast downpour duly arrived just after half distance in Sunday’s race forcing the event to be red-flagged and eventually halted for good due to extended rain and fading daylight.

    Ferrari driver Massa, who finished outside the points in ninth after a troubled weekend, says the weekend has shown that holding a race in such a time slot is not advisable.

    “I think you do the race in the night or you do the race in the day,” he told reporters after the race.


    “You can not try to go in the middle, that’s clear.
    “I said [about it] before, and I think many people said before, but it didn’t help.

    “But now it was a clear message.”

    His Brazilian compatriot Rubens Barrichello added that with the event starting so late any weather-related delay was always likely to have serious consequences for the remainder of the race.

    "That’s the unfortunate thing about starting the race at five o’clock, but it was definitely the right thing to stop it because visibility now – not from the rain, but from the sky – wasn’t going to be easy," the Brawn GP driver told the BBC.

    With Sepang officials only recently having ruled out following Singapore’s lead and holding a night race due to the extra cost involved, the circuit and F1’s rulers now face a decision over whether or not to revert to an early afternoon start time for 2010.

    Asked if it was an issue the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association would be looking at, Massa said: "We can, but I think maybe it is not in the GPDA which they need to change it – it is in another meeting.”


    Source: itv.com/f1


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    Re: Ferrari's Felipe Massa says Malaysia's race abortion was a warning not to stage evening races

    Post by Ross on 5th April 2009, 14:59

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