Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has warned the Australian Grand Prix organisers that they will have to make the event a night race if it is to remain on the Formula One calendar in the long term.
Although the Grand Prix has a contract until 2010, Ecclestone has made it clear that he has no interest in extending the deal beyond that if the event continues in its current format.
"In Melbourne, if we were to continue to be there, we would have to have a night race," he told Australian newspaper the Sunday Telegraph. "That would be the only option."
Although Ecclestone is a close friend of Australian Grand Prix promoter Ron Walker, it has not stopped him suggesting that F1 could turn its back on the country that has hosted a race since 1985 - hinting that the event could be saved with government support.
"Maybe we don't want to be in Australia," he said. "Our costs are very high in Australia and we get a lot less money. It's bloody bad for us.
"We've got quite a few places on the list that would like to have Formula One and, as it seems your guy (Victorian Premier John Brumby) down there doesn't want Formula One, we can make him happy and make the other people happy."
He added: "It comes down to, is it bad for Melbourne to spend the money they spend and is it good for us to be there because the amount of money we get from Melbourne is less than most of the places in Europe where we can more or less be there in an hour?"