Monza to invest €10 million after Ecclestone threat

Monza from the air

Monza from the air

Formula One’s Italian Grand Prix host, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, has promised circuit upgrades after the sport’s supremo Bernie Ecclestone said the facility is unlikely to remain on the calendar after its race contract expires in 2016.

Monza has staged every edition of Italy’s round of the F1 world championship since the motor-racing series’ formation in 1950, with the exception of the 1980 event which was held at Imola. However, Ecclestone told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport: “I don’t think we’ll do another contract, as the old one has been disastrous for us from a commercial point of view. So it’s bye-bye after 2016.”

Federico Bendinelli, head of Formula One operations at Monza, told SportBusiness International that Ecclestone is yet to inform the facility of his demands for a new race contract, adding the circuit is committed to redevelopment work.

“Mr. Ecclestone has not told us anything about this yet, so we don’t know what the new requests are for the Italian Grand Prix from an economical and commercial point of view,” Bendinelli said.

“We plan to upgrade one area – such as grandstands, track and facilities – each year. The project will start this year and will go on for the next four to five years. It’s not easy to say how much we will spend, because it would come from public money as the circuit is not privately owned, however the investment will be at least €10m ($13.7m).” (SportBusiness)