Now, night racing. This topic was on the news here during the recent Aussie GP and it got me thinking, do we need it?? In my opinion, no we don't, night racing is too much of a gimmick and I believe it's only being considered as an option for one reason and one reason only, the European audience. Whilst it is a privilege to hold the season opening race, I don't believe it should be held at night just so those elsewhere can watch the races at a reasonable time. Is it inconvenient? Yes of course, but any dedicated fan will get up at any hour to watch the race, especially the season opener.
We here in Aus have to stay up late for most European races. The races start at 10pm although the coverage is slated to start between 10.30pm and 11pm on a Sunday night (however this is just a ball park figure as Idol and Big Brother are notorious for running well overtime). This effectively means we don't finish a race until just after midnight, and that's on a good night. This is on a Sunday night remember, where people have to get up for work or school. Yet, we don't complain (about the time difference that is, the scheduling and shows running overtime is another matter!), that's the way it is. We only have 3 GP's in our timezone (Australia, Malaysia and Japan), the rest are in Europe and in North and South America (which start at about 2 or 3 on a Sunday morning.
Sure, there would be benefits to a night race, not only would the Aus GP meet the goal of making it more viewer friendly for European audiences, it would be something different for the audiences here. We've had the GP here for 12 years and for some, it could get stale. For me, it's always special, whether it's at night or during the day. Throw in the V8 Supercars (which were sorely missed this year) and it's close to perfect. However, what benefits would a night GP being to Melbourne? Isn't one of the main arguments in favour of the GP to do with tourism? Melbourne is a brilliant city at night, let alone during the day, but more can be shown when the sun is up.
Therefore, I find myself arguing against a night race in Melbourne as we in Melbourne, and Australia for that matter, would benefit more from it being held during the day. The only winners of a night race would be the European audience, who would get more of a sleep in.