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DATE News (chronologically)
Rome trying to 'steal' GP - Monza UPDATE #5 Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone has given preliminary backing to the idea of holding a grand prix in Rome, the man behind the proposal has said.

"We have the approval of the city council, the regional government, the provincial government and of Ecclestone too," Maurizio Flammini was quoted as saying by Saturday's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Flammini, a former Formula Two driver and world superbike promoter, said final plans for a race in the EUR district on the outskirts of the Italian capital would be presented to the Rome city council by the end of March.

"There are 150 million euros (£134 million) available to set up the first edition in 2011 or 2012," Flammini said.  "It could be the response to the 2015 Expo in Milan. But I must have the guarantee (to hold) four editions (of the race) minimum."

Flammini said Ecclestone had promised that the Italian Grand Prix at Monza would continue to be staged if plans for a street-circuit race in Rome came to fruition. International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Max Mosley is unenthusiastic about the idea, while Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said a Rome Grand Prix would be unthinkable unless it was a one-off.

"I hope to meet the Ferrari president, Mosley and Ecclestone soon to show them the details of the event," Flammini said. Eurosport

02/04/09 (GMM)  Hermann Tilke, the German architect responsible for the design of modern formula one venues, has emerged this week in Rome.

The news, reported by the Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport, gives weight to the recent revelation that the Italian capital is looking to host a street grand prix in 2011.

It is unlikely that Tilke's visit would be without the backing of F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, the sole author of the sport's annual calendar.

Gazzetta said Tilke is currently analyzing three possible layouts for a Rome race, all within the EUR district in the city's south west and with a budget of about 50 million euros.

01/29/09 (GMM)  The city of Rome is attempting to "steal" the Italian grand prix from historic Monza, according to Monza mayor Marco Mariani.

Mariani was responding to reports that superbike promoter Maurizio Flammini recently presented F1's Bernie Ecclestone with plans for a Roman street race on the outskirts of the capital.

Mariani said Flammini's move is a "disgraceful attempt to steal" formula one from Monza, and Enrico Gelip, president of the Automobile Club d'Italia (ACI), commented that Monza is the "historic temple of speed and racing" and central to the F1 calendar.

In the pages of La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, no fan of street races, denounced the project as "unthinkable" but said a one-off Rome grand prix might be something to be "talked about".

Supporting the idea, however, is Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno, who has set up a working group and admitted it is a "very interesting project".

Flammini said: "Our hypothesis is to be ready for 2011, but we wouldn't mind for it to occur earlier than that."

01/28/09 Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has poured cold water on the idea of Italy hosting a grand prix in Rome, branding the scheme “unthinkable”.

Superbike World Championship promoter Maurizio Flammini is spearheading a proposal to bring a Formula One race to the streets of Rome and met with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone at a Ferrari ski event earlier this month.

Flammini is proposing a race in Rome be added to the calendar by 2011.

However, Italy already has a slot on the F1 calendar in the form of historic and hugely popular Italian Grand Prix at Monza, and Di Montezemolo believes a temporary track in Rome would be damaging for other permanent facilities.

“A new GP in Italy is absolutely unthinkable seeing as we already have so many circuits underused,” Di Montezemolo said.

“Italy is among the countries that has the greatest number of circuits: an extraordinary one in Mugello, a historical one in Monza and then Imola, Misano, Vallelunga.”

He did offer a chink of light however, adding that the idea could be acceptable on a one-off basis.

“If there is a spot, a one-time offering for Rome, but not a permanent circuit, then we can talk about it.”

Spain is currently the only country to current stage two grands prix – at Barcelona and Valencia – and Flammini believes Rome could have a lot to offer to the Formula One fraternity.

“Together we reflected on how much street circuit grands prix represent an interesting opportunity for the growth of F1, as it happened last year with Valencia and Singapore,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Being a Roman myself, I feel Rome can give a lot to and get a lot from F1.”

He added: “Our hypothesis is to be ready for 2011, but we wouldn’t mind for it to occur earlier than that.

01/27/09 (GMM)  It is "possible" Rome may organize a formula one street race, a spokesman for the Italian capital's council has admitted.

We reported one month ago that Maurizio Flammini, superbike promoter and a former F2 driver, was proposing to organize a grand prix in Rome.

"With the new trend for city races, there are perhaps opportunities for Rome to organize a F1 grand prix," he said.

"The idea has been around for a number of years.  Never say never," Flammini added.

The Reuters news agency reported on Tuesday that Flammini's proposal is for a race on the outskirts of the city.

A city council spokesman confirmed: "It's an idea Flammini has proposed and mayor Gianni Alemanno has said it is possible."

Italy's F1 round is currently hosted at Monza, one of the most historic circuits in the world.

Only Spain, with races in Barcelona and Valencia, has two events on the calendar, while two venues apiece in Japan and Germany annually alternate the hosting rights.

12/29/08 (GMM)  Rome could be the ideal location for formula one's next street race, according to Maurizio Flammini.

Flammini, involved in the promotion of Superbike motorcycle racing, said he would be interested in getting involved in the organization of a grand prix through the streets of the Italian capital.

"With the new trend for city races, there are perhaps opportunities for Rome to organize a F1 grand prix," he is quoted as saying by Motorsport Aktuell.

"The idea has been around for a number of years.  Never say never," he added.

Italy's F1 round is currently hosted at Monza, one of the most historic circuits in the world.

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