Monza hits setback in bid to save F1 race

Fresh doubts have emerged about the future of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza after a meeting with race chiefs and Bernie Ecclestone failed to deliver the contract that had been hoped for.

Monza hits setback in bid to save F1 race
Fans at the podium
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF15-T
A banner for Bernie Ecclestone
An air display flies over the circuit
The start line
Fans at the podium

Angelo Sticchi Damiani, the president of the Automobile Club of Italy, and Ivan Capelli, president of the Automobile Club of Milan, had been optimistic that new financial terms that had been prepared to save the race would be accepted when they met in London earlier this month.

But according to sources, the offer of 18 million Euro per year proved not to be the stumbling block, as instead Ecclestone expressed concern about the management situation of the Italian race track.

He had been alerted to the fact that there are questions about how locked in a supposed seven-million Euro investment over 10 years to improve facilities was, as well as the financial state of the SIAS company which looks after the Monza race track.

That situation has left him worried that he could commit to a fresh Italian GP contract and then planned upgrades would not happen.

Fresh talks

Motorsport.com understands that Ecclestone has asked for long-term guarantees about the running of the circuit, and has called a fresh meeting for later this month to try to move the situation forward.

The situation remains incredibly delicate, and Capelli has declined to comment on what needs to change over the next days to get the deal back on the table.

Imola or Mugello in frame?

What has become clear, however, is that Damiani is determined not to lose the Italian GP from the calendar, even if he cannot save Monza.

Having worked hard to get government legislation changed to allow extra funding from the ACI to help the race, he is not ready to accept defeat.

That is why the door has now opened on either Imola or Mugello being lined up if the Monza situation cannot be resolved quickly.

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