Monza, which plays host to this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, is on the verge of securing a new three-year deal that will keep the event on the outskirts of Milan until at least 2019, according to Motorsport.com.
The historic venue has hosted Formula One every year – except in 1980 – since the series’ 1950 inception. However, its future has been in the balance for several months amid political and financial issues, with its current contract with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone expiring this year.
The report says that Angelo Sticchi Damiani, the president of the Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI), has announced a provisional €68m agreement to keep Monza on the F1 schedule during a press conference held at the circuit on Wednesday. The article adds that the Lombardy region has pledged €15m to finalise the deal.
Having claimed at the start of the season that he was confident of a new seven-year agreement, Sticchi Damiani downplays the shorter contract.
“There are those who expected a longer period, but if the system will work then a further renewal will not be a problem,” the ACI president was quoted as saying.
“But there is another aspect. We know that Europe has so many organisers in crisis, while some destinations such as Turkey, Korea and India were short-lived.
“We have seen that it is a question of money, but also of culture. Here in Europe there is the ‘DNA’ of racing. So let’s wait and see what happens.”
The ongoing uncertainty around the Italian GP saw Imola emerge as back-up plan, with the circuit even boasting an agreement with Ecclestone over the summer.
However, the ACI, which will run the race from next year, has never hidden the fact that its preference was for Monza.
“Imola would have been a good fallback solution if we had not arrived at a deal,” Sticchi Damiani added. “And I did not see an alternation as a possibility because it would be illogical and would mean two organisers instead of none.”
The report ends with the confirmation that there will be a minute of silence on the grid of this weekend’s Italian GP in memory of the victims of the earthquake that befell the country last week.
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