Australia's new prime minister has personally told Bernie Ecclestone that the country will not be funding a night F1 race. "I've spoken to Kevin Rudd and he's told me it would cost too much to re-stage the race, so I guess that's it. We won't be going to Australia for too much longer," the F1 chief executive is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

Ecclestone, 77, had already been told by the Melbourne race's promoters, the AGPC and the Victorian state government, that they will not be ceding to his pressure to floodlight the Albert Park circuit at their own expense.

"The only way the race could stay in Melbourne, or anywhere else in Australia, is if it is staged during the night so that the public in Europe can watch it," Ecclestone says.

He says staging the race at night will mean that F1's key audience - television viewers in Europe - no longer need to be up in the dead of the night to watch the first grand prix of the season.

"At the moment, it is ridiculous that people are asked not to sleep in order to see it live. That can't carry on. The alternative is to pull the race completely from Australia," Bernie added.