Formula One drivers have slammed officials for keeping this weekend's Australian Grand Prix as a twilight race, saying conditions will be dangerous and their concerns have been ignored.
The race will begin at 5 p.m. local time, meaning it will end in twilight, with drivers looking directly into a setting sun when they make the final turn into the start-finish straight.
“Last year it was extremely dangerous, the last 20 laps of the race," Renault's Robert Kubica said.
“Going through the last corner was like going through a blind place, it was impossible to see.
“It's not nice to go in an F1 car through a corner where its really very difficult to see anything," he added. “To be honest, I am surprised to see it was this time."
The Grand Prix Drivers' Association made its views plain after the twilight race was pioneered in 2009 to better suit European television audiences, demanding changes for 2010.
“If we want it to change for next year, maybe we have to say we are very happy at the end of the race," Lotus' Jarno Trulli joked. “We could start the race an hour before, which would not hurt anyone."
Red Bull's Mark Webber said “that is where it is, for lots of commercial reasons."
Meanwhile, Williams' Rubens Barrichello had his own queries for F1 officialdom, saying the rule change which narrowed the front tyres this season had further reduced the possibility of overtaking, contributing to the opening race of the season earlier this month in Bahrain resembling something of a procession.
“It’s not the weakness of the tyre, it’s the weakness of the rule," Barrichello said. “We need more mechanical grip, its the only solution.
“Its very dodgy to overtake a car in front because we don't have the front tyres."
Barrichello said he would like to see the rules further tweaked during the season to improve the spectacle, but said no decision should be made yet.
“I hope there is something," the experienced Brazilian said. “We need to wait four or five races before we take a conclusion how it is.”