Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Australian GP should be "open minded" about switching to F1 night race

The Australian Grand Prix Corporation should be "open minded" about a night Formula 1 race in the future, according to outgoing boss Andrew Westacott.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

The question of a potential night race around the Albert Park circuit was posed to Westacott during an appearance in the Sky Sports commentary booth during second free practice on Friday.

While not championing the idea, Westacott urged the AGPC to keep an open mind when it comes to innovation for the event.

The key, according to Westacott, is the long-term deal in place between the Victorian government and Formula 1 that now runs until 2037.

That deal was done in two steps, with an initial deal until 2035 announced in June, followed by a two-year extension in December.

Westacott's comments come as he embarks on his final Australian GP in the top job before he steps down from the role in June.

"[For] the [Australian Grand Prix] Corporation, the preference is in the [race happening in] sunshine," said Westacott of the potential for a night race.

"But what I would also say is, as you evolve the one thing that Victoria does well is innovate in major events.

"You've got to look at the 15-year horizon now and that's why the Victorian government saw that this was important to secure [the new deal] – you can actually do things into the future.

"The great thing is we've had a partnership with Formula 1 since 1996 and therefore you can do these things with a very strong relationship. So be open minded is probably the simple answer."

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, leaves the garage

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, leaves the garage

Photo by: Jake Grant

There are a number of straightforward pros and cons for a night race, the primary pro being a better time slot for the European audience.

However, that would come at a cost given there is currently no track lighting infrastructure in place.

The AGP has dabbled with different start times over recent years with a push into a twilight slot from 2010 onwards.

Read Also:

That year saw the race start at 5pm local time, which was retained until 2015 when it was pushed back to 4pm, and 4:10pm in later years.

The race was then moved back to a 3pm start following the two-year COVID break in 2022.

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article F1 results: Verstappen, Alonso fastest in Australian GP practice
Next article Norris backs tough choices McLaren F1 team had to make

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe