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Page last updated at 08:27 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 09:27 UK

Kubica wary of twilight F1 races

Australian Grand Prix
Drivers had to cope with some unusual light in the Australian Grand Prix

BMW's Robert Kubica has added his voice to the mounting criticism of starting Formula 1 races in twilight hours.

The Malaysian Grand Prix will begin at 1700 local time, as did last week's opening race in Australia, when drivers complained about the low setting sun.

"In Australia it was a big issue," Kubica said. "The visibility at the end of the race was quite poor. It was quite dangerous, even very dangerous."

Williams driver Nico Rosberg has also expressed concern about the late start.

Rosberg finished in sixth place in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Sunday but was concerned as the light faded at the end of the race and said: "Twilight racing is not the way to go."

The 23-year-old German also warned that this weekend's race in Malaysia could be halted because of heavy rain.

"In Melbourne it was obvious that it just increases the danger so much," said Rosberg, who finished second in Formula 1's first night race in Singapore last year.


"The visibility is so difficult, you can't even see the edges of the track in some corners. I was driving into the sun and that's not what racing is about. So I really hope they reconsider that.

"Even moving it forward by one hour or something will help us massively. It was just the last part of the race that was the really problematic time."

And with the Malaysian Grand Prix taking place this weekend, Rosberg has warned that the late start combined with the threat of possible tropical downpours could cause problems in Kuala Lumpur.

"If the monsoon comes down, the race is going to have to be stopped because we can't race and drive with that amount of water," he added.

The Williams team are not yet using the new energy storage and power boost system (Kers) but Rosberg says he wants it available as soon as possible.

The technology stores energy that would have been wasted while braking and allows drivers a boost of an extra 80bhp for seven seconds each lap and Rosberg said: "It was clear in Melbourne that, especially for racing, it's a very beneficial thing to have.

"I was really struggling to hold behind me people with Kers and also to overtake people with Kers was difficult for me.

"It's definitely something we need to push hard to get on the car. I'm not sure when it's going to happen but hopefully soon.

"But also that makes it interesting for the racing, some teams have it and some teams don't. It's just a big mess and that's what the spectators need."

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see also
Rivals will regroup, warns Button
31 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
Brawn set to dominate F1
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Button seals dream Australia win
29 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
Australian GP as it happened
29 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
Australian Grand Prix photos
29 Mar 09 |  Formula 1

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