Future of Monza Grand Prix Uncertain – Automobile Club of Milan

Ferrari at Monza
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Angelo Sticchi Damiani, the president of the Automobile Club of Milan – owners of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza circuit – claimed that whilst they’re currently capable of running the Italian Grand Prix, they can make no guarantees if anything changes.

Speaking to La Gazetta dello Sport, Damiani said, “If conditions change we can no longer guarantee the future of the Grand Prix at Monza.”

The change Damiani mentions is the Italian government’s failure to amend its 2018 Budget Law, as reported by F1i.com.

This means restrictions could be made to the laws governing public finance, meaning that if the cost of hosting F1 races increases, Monza could struggle to afford the new fees – and wouldn’t be able to rely on government funding to help out.

Rising hosting costs have already thrown one long-standing European grand prix into turmoil, with Silverstone announcing last year that they’d be using a breakout clause in their contract to stop hosting the British Grand Prix as costs had risen too high.

Damiani says that, as the circuit asks for and costs the government nothing, they think they should be left to it.

“We do not cost the state a euro and do not ask for anything, but at least do not hinder us.
“For the 100-year anniversary in 2022, it’s only right that the circuit must be adapted.”

Monza is the longest-running circuit in Formula 1 history, having hosted a race in every season since the series’ inception, bar 1980 when the Italian Grand Prix was hosted at Imola.

Damiani, along with all other circuit owners, attended a meeting with F1 owners Liberty Media earlier this year. Speaking after the meeting, he suggested that the new owners were looking to recoup some of their $1.1bn+ investment in the sport from the circuits and teams.

“What I noticed was a general suffering.
“On the part of Liberty it is because a monstrous investment has been made and now there must be a return.
“And also with the teams, who have even higher costs, and us as organisers who are strangled.”

The Italian Grand Prix will continue to be held at Monza for the time being, with this year’s race taking place on September 2nd, 2018.