Early start likely for next season's Australian Grand Prix

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Melbourne, Apr 4(ANI): The Australian Grand Prix's starting time looks set for a shift from 5p.m. to a possible 4p.m. for the 2011 season after light tests by Formula One's international governing body, FIA, deemed the Albert Park circuit too dark during last week's race.

Several drivers complained about the 5p.m. start time for the race, which was further worsened by the gloomy and overcast conditions towards the finish.

The drivers' main issue beforehand had been the combination of a setting sun and the rain showers, giving them poor visibility, but a light meter test by the FIA showed the light was below the minimum demanded for night race conditions.

"Last year when we had this big shift (of start time), we knew what the reason was. But then I say, let's do it early in the morning, so it is Saturday evening in Europe," The Age quoted Kubica, as saying.

"I think after Australia we complained already twice. The FIA did some measurements and it is clear it is too dark for them for the safety target they are putting. It is a serious problem and this year was very dark in Australia and the year before the sun was very low, which was very dangerous," he added.

The decision to start the Australian Grand Prix at 5p.m. was first introduced in 2009 to make the race more accessible to a European TV morning audience.

The Australian Grand Prix organizers and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone will take a final decision on the start time. (ANI)

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