Night racing is here, is it any good ?

Night Formula 1 races – the latest obsession of Mr. Ecclestone. Singapore will host one later on this year, the organizers in Australia are under massive pressure from the F1 supremo to hold their race in the night if they want to keep the Formula 1 Down Under beyond 2010. The lighting companies are getting ready, developing and testing night race lighting systems. Is it all worth the effort and money ?

I am going to disregard the environmental issues as I consider those just a populist talk. Yes, it may not go in line with the green message the F1 is trying to send out. But there is much more energy used (or wasted ?) every day by lighting up football stadiums, airconditioning various indoor arenas, freezing the ice for skating or ice hockey… No one complains about that, no one sends skaters to skate on frozen lakes :-)

Qatar NightAfter this weekend I however do question the need to force the organizers, will it be in Australia or anywhere else, to spend wast amounts of money to set up the lighting systems. Why ? Because I watched the MotoGP night race from Qatar. If that is supposed to be what the TV viewers get for all the money spent by organizers, then I do not think it is worth it.

First the overall experience – Either there were no spectators (would not surprise me) or the “wall” created by lighting eliminated them from the picture. It did feel very weird. All one could see around the track were the run off areas and hundres of lamps.

The TV picture was far from good. All the lights around the track were pretty disturbing, the picture was not very clear. There were also parts of the track with strong light reflection – and that was on a dry track … Now imagine places like Malaysia and Singapore, where the chances of rain are higher than chances of sunshine …

It might have been great experience for those on the track, it was far from great on TV … But isn’t the TV the main reason behind the night races idea ?

It may not be that bad on the street track in Singapore. The city backdrop, tighter space, spectators closer to the track may be the factors that will make that night race a great TV event. But should the night race happen in Sepang on the track, I am afraid the TV experience will be similar to Qatar MotoGP race…

I may be wrong, F1 might have hired better people to set up the lighting for Formula 1 races and there will be no problems at all. All may be perfect. But would not it be wiser to wait for at least the first night race in Singapore to happen and evaluate the pros and cons, before pushing and forcing people elsewhere to commit to huge investments just to keep one guy happy ?

9 Comments Post a Comment
  1. RichNo Gravatar says:

    i hate how environmentalists always interfere with everything. i think the night race in Singapore will be better than qatar bc all of the buildings being lit up.

  2. F1 BettingNo Gravatar says:

    Apparently the lighting for Singapore is going to be top of the range and will be set up from May, in anticipation for the race at the end of September. According to the Guardian, the light will be 4 times brighter than at a football stadium so it shouldn’t be a problem watching it. It’s certainly going to be the most interesting race of the year.

  3. RichNo Gravatar says:

    yea definatley. i am going to go to an f1 race this year but it has to be at the end of june or later. i cant go to singapore bc its sold out, but which race should i attend in your opinion?

  4. ShaunNo Gravatar says:

    Well as a bike fan i obviously watched the MotoGP at the weekend. I agree that there really didn’t seem to be any fans at the track.

    A few of the racers were not so keen, Nicky Hayden mentioned that at times, because of the light positioning, there were a number of shadows around him that gave him the impression of another rider creeping up alongside. Another rider said it was harder to judge where the kerbs were on the track.

    Overall the most telling point for me was that other than the initial gimmick factor it was really no different to any other race, so was it worth the additional effort and expense?

    Shaun’s last blog post..Toseland impresses as Stoner picks up where he left off

  5. Black ZeddNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve seen some night races in Sepang before, and the distance between the spectators from the track will definitely create the walls of light.

    I think it will create less excitement compared to the day races, especially before this, the Sepang round is dubbed the “Hottest Race” in the calendar (literally).

    I hope Sepang stays as a day event.

    Black Zedd’s last blog post..Why Salesmen Are Like Stealth Bombers

  6. BrunoNo Gravatar says:

    watched the motoGp too, and yes where were the fans ? couldn’t see past the gravel … As for the race itself a lot of exciting moments, but for Australia going at night I agree with Wolf that they should test in Singapore first before pushing the Ozzies down.
    At least they will be able to iron out the problems that may come up during the Singapore Race. I do hope it will be good for both track spectators as well as Tv audiences.
    Get your DVD recorder on, as this will be one race you’ll want to keep on archive for a long time

    Bruno’s last blog post..McLaren boss Dennis to stay on

  7. RichNo Gravatar says:

    anybody notice kimis new tattoo its his 3rd he has ever had

    http://www.tallipaallikko.fi/fg/images/locale/start_image.jpg

  8. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    which is the new one ? the ICEMAN on left arm ? the one on his right hand he got last year

  9. KaylenNo Gravatar says:

    Yup the iceman one is his new one lol the boy just keeps decorating himself!

    I felt that the track actually looked good from the aerial view when they were taking shots from the helicopter. Must be the shiny and bright lights. But yeah, when it comes to the view from the motobikes themselves the glare’s quite bad.

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