Future of Italian GP at Monza remains uncertain

GP MONZA F1/2013

The future of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza remains uncertain after this year with Formula One’s commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone saying on Friday that a deal had become more complicated.

The historic circuit near Milan, which has been on the calendar every year bar one since the championship started in 1950, will host Italy’s only race in September but has no contract beyond 2016.

“It’s Italian. A lot of conversations at the moment and not much action,” the 85-year-old Ecclestone told Reuters when asked about ongoing negotiations.

“They said to me a few months ago ‘everything is sorted out, we know exactly where we are and it’s all agreed and no dramas’,” added the Briton.

“And now I heard yesterday it’s become very political…they’ll get on with it. Or not. Nothing we can do about it.”

Roberto Maroni, president of the Lombardy region, said in September that he was 99.9 percent sure a deal would be done by the end of 2015 after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi lent his support.

Angelo Sticchi Damiani, president of the Automobile Club of Italy, said last month that the basis of the contract had been decided with only minor details to be resolved.

He hoped to conclude a deal by the end of February to retain a race whose absence from the calendar would be unthinkable for most fans, not least those of Ferrari for whom Monza is home territory.

Damiani and former racer Ivan Capelli, who is president of the Automobile Club of Milan, met Ecclestone in London recently but the talks proved inconclusive.

Media reports indicated one sticking point was over financial guarantees for circuit improvements.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s a little bit Italian at the moment. The only people that can sort this out are the people that are currently involved in Italy,” Ecclestone said.

“There’s no deadline. They can take as long as they like, provided it’s by the end of this month.