Formula One would consider possible night race


LONDON -- Formula One's governing body
would need to carry out a full safety assessment before agreeing
to any night races, FIA president Max Mosley said on Monday.

"We wouldn't sanction night racing for Formula One without a
very careful investigation," the International Automobile
Federation said Monday.

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone and Singaporean
billionaire Ong Beng Seng have been discussing the
possibility of holding a race under floodlights in the southeast Asian city state.

Ecclestone is keen on the idea, which would boost European
television audiences due to the time difference but some
drivers and team bosses have expressed concern about safety

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso said this month that
he considered the idea to be impossible.

"There are all sorts of factors there, some of which have
been highlighted and some of which haven't yet, and we want to
look at that very carefully before we sanction it," said Mosley,
attending the launch in London of a U.N. global road safety week
with former world champion Michael Schumacher.

Mosley did not rule out, however, the possibility of a
Singaporean night race appearing on the calendar as early as
next year.

"So far there hasn't been an application but if there is a
serious attempt to run a night race then we will have a very
careful look at it," he said.

"We have a safety commission which looks specifically at
these problems and they will probably come up with a number of
recommendations and research to undertake before saying okay,
because it would be a big step and we wouldn't want to make a

"One mustn't underestimate the logistics, the degree of
lighting that will be necessary for really good television
coverage, the cost, the complications and all the things that go
with it," continued Mosley.

"But that's not really our problem, all we would be
concerned about would be the safety aspect."

Mosley expressed satisfaction with how the first three races
of the Formula One season, the first since the retirement of
Ferarri's seven-time champion Schumacher, had gone with three
separate winners and three joint championship leaders after

McLaren rookie Lewis Hamilton, the first driver to finish
his first three races on the podium, had also made a big

"The impressive thing about Lewis Hamilton is that he hasn't
put a foot wrong, and that's what's so unusual with a
beginner...that's really impressive," he said.

"We've been fortunate. But we mustn't put too much on Lewis
Hamilton. If things don't go so well for him for a few races, it
doesn't mean anything. He's obviously got a huge future in front
of him."

Mosley said rule changes since the end of last season, with
engine development frozen and the departure of Michelin leaving
Bridgestone as sole tyre supplier, had shown no adverse effect.

"What's interesting is that the hugely controversial engine
freeze, nobody seems to notice. It's made no difference. The
only difference is that it's saving the big manufacturers
probably about a billion euros a year.

"What I now hope is that the cars stay evenly balanced, and
that nobody pulls out a huge lead," added the Briton.

Mosley said the glamor sport still needed to make
overtaking easier and to encourage wheel-to-wheel racing:
"That's going to take time, but we are working on it," he said.