|Angelo Sticchi Damiani|
(GMM) Italian grand prix boss Angelo Sticchi Damiani says he is locked in "complicated and difficult" negotiations with Liberty Media over the future of Monza's F1 race.
With the race in doubt beyond 2019 for financial reasons, we reported this week that the Lega political party introduced a bill to parliament pledging EUR 10 million a year in state support to safeguard the "traditional grand prix".
But Damiani says Monza needs more.
"We have said on several occasions that Monza needs important works and that today the hypothesis is a total amount of about 100 million," he told Agenzia di Stampa Italpress.
Monza's current contract expires this year.
"Thanks to the Lombardy region, we have managed to find a balance this year, and we must renew for the next few years," Damiani said.
"There are very tight, complicated and difficult negotiations with Liberty Media who inherited too many expensive and unsustainable contracts."
He is referring to a bevy of other F1 circuits who are pushing Liberty to drop their prices, but Damiani says it is Monza that it "perhaps the most important event of the world championship".
Damiani also talked about Charles Leclerc, whose new found success at Ferrari he says is no surprise to him.
"Leclerc is a phenomenon and we knew it and had the proof of it," he said.
"What happened in the last grand prix is known — there was a short circuit of a control unit, which can happen and is unfortunately difficult to predict.
"But Leclerc has made us dream and we are convinced that both he and Vettel will win the world championship this year," added Damiani.