Formula One: Bernie Ecclestone Should Stop Meddling!

Mike CassCorrespondent IApril 7, 2009

SPA FRANCORCHAMPS, BELGIUM - SEPTEMBER 07:  F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is seen in the paddock before the Belgian Grand Prix at the Circuit of Spa Francorchamps on September 7, 2008 in Spa Francorchamps, Belgium.  (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

It was one of Bernie's bright ideas to start the long haul races later in the day to improve the European TV viewing figures, but Formula One is a world championship and not a just a European championship.


Bernie should take local fans into account or just keep F1 in Europe, but then he wouldn't get away with extortion to host the races like he does in Asia, and lets not forget he has to refill his coffers after his divorce.


In Australia Bernie just got away with starting the race later in the day, but the twilight conditions are another variable this season could do without, Button said after the race in Melbourne that it was hard to see the corner exits with the low sun.


The late start was also a factor in the poor ticket sales, as there wasn't enough time to leave the circuit after the race and make it to the airport to catch a plane back home to be at work on Monday.


Malaysia was a different story, everyone knows that starting the race that late in the day you increase the chance of having rain affect the race.


Locals will tell you that at this time of year it's almost a certainty but somehow this didn't bother Bernie, even after the event he didn't think the late start was an issue saying:


"No, I just have regrets about the rain," he said. "I don't see anything wrong with the start time, we just didn't know about the rain.


Mario Theissen wasn't impressed and said:


"We should not have a twilight race. Either we have a race without lighting, then it should finish earlier, or we have a night race and you can go on when you want. Here it was on the edge,"


Even without the rain it would have been getting quite dark by the end of the race, I don't watch to see drivers struggling with the time of day, I watch to be able to see some racing.


All those Malaysian spectators won't be coming back next year if it's at the same time, would you pay full price for a ticket knowing that your only going to see half a race due to rain?


Most European TV networks re-run the race at a more sensible time of day anyway, or even if they don't we have this amazing ability to be able to record TV these days.


European TV audiences have been getting up early for years to watch the race, it use to be quite exciting getting up in the middle of the night to watch the season opener in Australia.


Lets face it F1 fans will watch the race at what ever time it's on and Bernie shouldn't be that bothered about the casual audience that watch one or two races a year.


Leave the start times alone Bernie, I like to be able to watch some racing, rather than some drivers getting soaked on the pit straight waiting for a restart that was never going to happen!