Imola not on the cards as Monza replacement

World © Octane Photographic Ltd. "F1-Monza = No F1" banner. Sunday 6th September 2015, F1 Italian GP Race, Monza, Italy. Digital Ref: 1419LB5D9151

Formula 1 Chief Bernie Ecclestone was recently heard suggesting that the Italian Grand Prix could switch to Imola from next year, if given approval by the Italian Sporting Authority, with the future of Monza still uncertain, having not yet negotiated a contract to proceed as the race venue past 2016.

However, when speaking to at the FIA’s Sport Conference in Turin, Automobile Club d’Italia President Angelo Sticchi Damiani, advised that if the Italian Grand Prix is to continue, then it should be in Monza, as dictated by the country’s laws.

“In the Italian financial law it is written that the grand prix should be Monza, not Imola.

“The involvement of the Automobile Club of Italy, who is involved directly in the running of the grand prix starting next year, is for an Italian Grand Prix running in Monza, not in Imola.

“This is a new law, a financial law that was approved at the beginning of the year.”

The ACI Chief also commented that a deal to secure Monza as the ongoing and permanent venue of the Italian Grand Prix is nearing conclusion, despite rumours to the contrary, and he was confident that an agreement would be struck quite soon.

“It is the first time in Italy that it takes a burden to organise a Formula 1 grand prix with significant funds.

“The fact that ACI is replacing the Automobile Club Milan – which is organising the grand prix this year – is of course a revolution, a quite relevant one.

“Thanks to the support of the Lombardy regional authority, and hopefully also thanks to a national sponsor – although these have to be defined in the details – thanks to these supports, we managed to begin [negotiations] in February.

“In Monte Carlo we found many common points with Ecclestone. There are things that still have to be defined, but I dare say we are very close to an agreement despite some actions which have not helped the negotiations. Quite the opposite, it has made it difficult.”