Bernie Ecclestone has begun talks with the bosses of the Imola circuit in Italy in a bid to secure a venue for the Italian Grand Prix should Formula 1 supremo fail to renegotiate a deal to run the race at Monza.
There has been a major backlash when doubts about the Italian race surfaced, especially on the back of Germany having lost its race in 2015.
Imola has not held a Grand Prix since Michael Schumacher held off Fernando Alonso to win the 2006 San Marino Grand Prix, with the circuit undergoing a major revamp the following year.
The City Mayor of Imola Daniele Manca, the President of Formula Imola Uberto Selvatico Estense and the President of CON.AMI Stefano Manara, met with Ecclestone in London earlier this week to discuss the possibility of Formula 1 returning to the track.
“We wanted to show Ecclestone how willing Imola was to get Formula 1 back – but also do our part to keep the grand prix in Italy,” said Manca to Motorsport.com.
“We presented our plan to relaunch the circuit, outline the investments we have made and what we plan to do in the coming years with our infrastructure.
“Bernie told us that he never wanted to go away from Imola – and he must remember that Enzo Ferrari originally asked him to organise a grand prix on our circuit.
“There are issues to sort out – and one factor is obviously the economy. But Ecclestone has agreed to check the timeframe and conditions under which it would be possible to get F1 back to Imola. The target is 2017.”