Malaysia Request 2006 Opening Slot

Malaysian Grand Prix bosses have asked Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone if their race can open the 2006 season, with the traditional first race in Australia set to be moved to a late April date to avoid a clash with the Commonwealth Games

Malaysia Request 2006 Opening Slot

Sepang's general manager Ahmad Mustafa has confirmed that he spoke to Ecclestone over the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend to request the season-opening slot next year and said he was optimistic that the event would get what it wanted.

"He [Ecclestone] did not make a firm commitment but we are optimistic that our request would be considered positively," Mustafa said.

"Obviously, it will be a new ball game for us to organise the first race of the season. It will be a new challenge for us but I am confident that it will provide better rewards for us and Malaysia in general."

The problem that Ecclestone will have in moving Malaysia to the front of the calendar is that, with Australia asking to have its race in April, it would likely mean increased costs for the teams because they will have to fly out to both races separately.

One solution would be for Malaysia to get twinned with Bahrain at the start of the season, with Australia possibly being forced to take an early April date so that teams do not have to fly their cars, personnel and equipment all the way to Europe in between races.

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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