F1 to return to Monza After ’16? (26th Update)

UPDATE The future of the Italian Grand Prix at the Monza circuit "has been secured for the next three seasons," according to Andrew Benson of the BBC.

Monza signed a new contract until '19 with Formula 1's commercial arm worth a total of €68M ($72M). F1 will receive €22M ($23M) in '17 and '18 and €24M ($25.5M) in '19, "according to a source close to the deal."
The move ends a "period of uncertainty over the future of Monza, which is the oldest race on the calendar." It first held the Italian GP in '21. The F1 group will also receive an additional figure — said by sources to be in the region of €3M-€4M ($3.2M-$4.3M) — to "exploit a space outside the back of the paddock formerly occupied by a museum and the rights to some of the merchandise shops at the track." BBC

11/29/16 This rumor is finally upgraded to 'fact' today after 25 updates. Monza and Bernie Ecclestone have finally signed on the dotted line of their race contract extension.

After a long-running saga, the 2017-2019 deal was actually agreed in September but actual signatures on the documents were missing until now.

But Monza's official Twitter account announced on Tuesday that the deal is now "signed".

"The Italian GP remains at Monza for the next few years," it declared.

And Italian media reports quoted Italian Olympic chief Giovanni Malago as saying: "I am really happy with this great result.

"Without the careful and stubborn work of (Italian automobile club) president Angelo Sticchi Damiani, Italy would have lost its grand prix," he added.

07/19/16

Ecclestone growing tired with Monza politics, has Imola waiting in the wings
Ecclestone growing tired with Monza politics, has Imola waiting in the wings

(GMM) Italian officials are refusing to acknowledge that Monza's chances of keeping the grand prix are now over.

Reports this week have suggested Bernie Ecclestone has inked a deal with alternative race host Imola, but the truth is that the contract is not yet signed.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone told the Italian media from his holiday in Croatia that Monza's problem is "political", and that if a deal with Imola falls through, "we will have to say 'goodbye' to F1 in Italy".

But Italian automobile club chief Angelo Sticchi Damiani hit back by saying those political hurdles have now been cleared.

Lombardy vice president Fabrizio Sala has now told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport: "I'm sorry that Ecclestone said the obstacles for the Monza GP are political.

"The region has already done its part and at the end of May confirmed the allocation of EUR 5 million per year needed to close the contract.

"We are pleased that the president of the Aci, Sticchi Damiani, has clarified that there is no political problem and that next week a binding offer will be presented to FOM.

"We hope a conclusion can be reached quickly. The grand prix of Italy at Monza is part of our tradition and we can't allow it to be lost," Sala added.

06/22/16 (GMM) Italian automobile club (Aci) chief Angelo Sticchi Damiani says a new F1 race deal for Monza beyond 2016 is now "on the home straight".

Bernie Ecclestone admitted in Baku last weekend that reports another well-known Italian circuit – Imola – could poach the race are true.

The F1 supremo also warned that Italy could be left off the calendar altogether for 2017.

"Yes, I know," Sticchi Damiani told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

"We are completing the team of supporters, including a sponsor, to help the Aci in this significant expense," he revealed.

"We would have closed it earlier if there had not been other actions that brought a bit of confusion to the negotiations."

He is referring to Imola, who have been in negotiations with Ecclestone as well.

"Yes, but not only that," Sticchi Damiani admitted. "Imola started by saying 'If Monza does not make it, we are here', which is absolutely correct.

"But then their position changed and it created a costly competition that was unnecessary. Because the stability law is for Monza," he added, referring to a dispute over funds.

Imola, however, has claimed that any funding put aside for Monza should also be available to Imola, otherwise it would be illegal state aid.

"That's absurd," Sticchi Damiani declared. "The state is not paying a cent. Parliament authorized the Aci to use its money for the GP."

He also ruled out Imola's suggestion that Monza and Imola annually alternate the race.

"The reason is simple," he said. "The sponsor that is interested wants to stay in one place, Monza."

Sticchi Damiani said he hopes the deal is done by July.

06/21/16 The President of the Automobile Club d'Italia, Angelo Sticchi Damiani, says a deal for Monza to remain on the Formula 1 calendar is "very close," as negotiations draw towards a conclusion.

The Italian Grand Prix has been held at Monza every year bar once since Formula 1 began in 1950, but its current contract expires at the end of 2016.

Negotiations have been ongoing for some time, with the situation complicated by the ACI taking over running of the event from the Automobile Club Milano, but Sticchi Damiani is confident of a successful resolution.

"Let's say that it is a difficult negotiation," he is quoted by ESPN. "It's the first time a sports association in Italy has taken on the burden to organize the Grand Prix with significant funds.

"Around Monte Carlo we found many common points with [Bernie] Ecclestone – there are things that still have to be defined – but I would dare say that we are very close to an agreement despite some actions that, of course, have not helped."

Sticchi Damiani also insisted that any deal would be between Formula 1 and Monza, ruling out the potential of a return for Imola, which hosted the sport for two decades until 2006.

"The involvement of the Automobile Club d'Italia, which is involved directly in the running of the Grand Prix starting next year, is for an Italian Grand Prix running in Monza, not in Imola," he said.

06/10/16 (GMM) A swig of Heineken with an Italian twist could have boosted Monza's chances of staying on the F1 calendar.

Rumors the Dutch beer brewer would sponsor a team were wide of the mark, but it was announced on Thursday that F1's new $200m sponsor will race into the sport at Monza in September for the 'Formula 1 Gran Premio Heineken D'Italia'.

It will be in addition to Heineken naming rights at two other races, but Bernie Ecclestone admitted it could be a special boost for Monza amid the Italian venue's troubled negotiations for a new deal for 2017 and beyond.

"It is probably going to help," the F1 supremo said in Montreal.

The fact that Monza has been chosen for the sponsorship debut is probably no coincidence, as Italian Gianluca di Tondo, a senior Heineken director, confirmed.

"But this (a new deal for Monza) is a decision that only Bernie can take," he said.

06/01/16 (GMM) Monza chief Angelo Sticchi Damiani has confirmed that negotiations over the details of a new F1 race contract are now taking place.

We reported on Tuesday that, after a long period of fraught negotiations with Bernie Ecclestone, officials had finally shaken hands on a deal with the F1 supremo in Monaco last weekend.

Sky Italia had said a contract for the period 2017-2020 will now be drafted.

Sticchi Damiani, the president of the Italian automobile club (Aci), confirmed to La Gazzetta dello Sport that Monza promoter Sias is negotiating with Ecclestone about "a contract of four instead of seven years".

05/31/16 (GMM) Monza officials may finally have shaken hands with Bernie Ecclestone on a new deal to secure the future of the Italian grand prix.

The negotiations have been public, fraught and protracted but Italian automobile club chief Angelo Sticchi Damiani agreed terms last weekend in Monaco, according to Sky Italia.

"After the drafting of the contracts, the announcement regarding the years 2017-2020 will be made," the report added.

Sky said the latest meeting in Monaco, also attended by Ecclestone's long-time friend and business partner Flavio Briatore, resulted in a deal regarding the until-now disputed financial value of the new contract beyond 2016.

The report continued: "Ecclestone has always said that his handshake is worth more than a written contract. Now the formal part will follow and, if everything goes well, Monza will announce the renewal shortly."

05/03/16 (GMM) Lombardy president Roberto Maroni has admitted he is "concerned" a new deal for Monza's Italian grand prix is taking too long.

Increasingly, it is clear political problems between the four parties involved – Bernie Ecclestone, the automobile club Aci, organizer Sias and Lombardy – are holding up the renewal of the deal beyond 2016.

"There's a lot going on," Maroni told Telelombardia, a local broadcaster.

"We as a region are very busy; we have set aside EUR 70 million for ten years, not for the grand prix but for the Park (Parco di Monza), to enhance it and make it a place known in the world.

"These resources can also be used for the grand prix to renew the contract, but with a fundamental condition — that the region enters Sias, the company that runs it (the race).

"I have told Ecclestone and Sticchi Damiani, the president of Aci, who are doing the deal, it is enough that Aci agrees to let the region in and then we have solved the problem," Maroni said.

He admitted, however, that he is worried the negotiations are taking a long time.

"I am concerned," said Maroni. "I see that time passes and nothing happens, and I would not like to see that Monza goes and perhaps Imola or Rome Eur (district) come in."

04/28/16 (GMM) Monza may have taken another decisive step towards a new F1 contract, according to multiple media reports in Italy.

Autosprint reveals that Andrea Dell'Orto, the president of the fabled Italian circuit's operator Sias, has stepped down.

The report said Dell'Orto had been at odds with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, amid Monza's troubled negotiations to renew its race deal beyond 2016.

Dell'Orto's replacement is Pier (Peter) Lorenzo Zanchi, a former rally driver.

"Now that the political problems have come to a head, the talks with Ecclestone can reopen and be concluded," predicted correspondent Alberto Sabbatini.

Sky Italia agreed that Dell'Orto's demise, and the appointment of an all-new board of directors, is an "important turning point" for Monza.

And La Gazzetta dello Sport also reported: "This should be one more step in securing the signature of the F1 boss and the continuation of the grand prix at Monza."

Dell'Orto is quoted as saying: "For the renewal of the contract with FOM, I have done everything necessary to achieve this goal.

"I hope this (his departure) does not create discontinuity in the current negotiations, in particular as regards the contribution of the (Lombardy) region to keep the grand prix at Monza."

04/23/16

Ecclestone will talk and Monza authorities will listen
Ecclestone talked and Monza authorities listened

(GMM) Monza's F1 future may have come to a head during a meeting in Milan late this week.

Amid Monza's troubled negotiations with Bernie Ecclestone, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the F1 supremo traveled to Milan late this week to meet with Lombardy president Roberto Maroni.

The report added that, at the regional headquarters, Ecclestone's long-time business and personal confidante Flavio Briatore was also present, as well as Lombardy deputy Fabrizio Sala.

"During the meeting, which was very friendly, the future of the grand prix at Monza was discussed," read an official note.

04/12/16 (GMM) It is still not clear if historic Monza will continue to host the endangered Italian grand prix beyond September's 2016 race.

Bernie Ecclestone's negotiations with race organizers have been publicly tumultuous, culminating in the recent resignation of Ivan Capelli from the organizing body Sias.

But Sias president Andrea Dell'Orto insists he is going nowhere.

"I absolutely refuse to abandon my role having been empowered with a precise mandate," he insisted.

But Italy's Autosprint now claims the long-running political saga "could end positively" within the next few days, perhaps with the forced departure of Dell'Orto.

After that, "An agreement with Ecclestone could be made within the first days of May," explained correspondent Alberto Sabbatini.

04/08/16 (GMM) Amid intense and faltering negotiations with Bernie Ecclestone, former F1 driver Ivan Capelli has resigned as a chief of Monza's circuit operator Sias.

Just last weekend in Bahrain, F1 supremo Ecclestone had admitted a new deal for the historic Italian grand prix beyond 2016 was being held up over local politics.

"I know it's very, very political," the 85-year-old said.

Ecclestone explained that who gets "the credit" for funding Monza's new deal was one stumbling block, but it is also known that he was clashing personally with some of the current Italian officials.

"It is a fact that as men we are talking," he said two weeks ago, "although I don't know why Federico Bendinelli went as he was a smart person and we understood each other."

So in reporting that Capelli has now gone, Italy's Autosprint confirmed that Ecclestone had "no confidence in the management" of Sias and fundamentally clashed over Monza's desire to reshape the track to suit MotoGP racing.

Another Italian media source, Tuttosport, agreed that Capelli's departure is "a move to end the stalemate in the negotiations with Ecclestone".

04/02/16

(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has kept hopes alive that Monza might retain the Italian grand prix beyond September's 2016 race.

In the past week, reports have suggested the negotiations might be close to collapse, but F1 supremo Ecclestone said on Friday that talks will resume "in a couple of weeks".

"There will be another meeting in a couple of weeks to discuss the future of Monza," he told the Italian broadcaster Sky Sport in Bahrain. "So you'll have to wait."

But the 85-year-old repeated his warning that F1 could live without the iconic venue.

"Can I imagine a future for F1 without Italy? It's funny because I could never imagine the future without France but here we are," Ecclestone said.

He confirmed reports that a potential replacement on the calendar for Monza could be a second US grand prix in Las Vegas.

"I am going to be talking to them in ten minutes," Ecclestone told reporters on Friday. He said Las Vegas could happen "in a couple of years I suppose".

"We'd keep Austin and have another race."

Finally, Ecclestone was asked about the qualifying debacle, admitting his preferred successor for the hated 'musical chairs' format might include a ballot to determine the grid, or a system where time penalties apply for success.

"Let's wait and see," he told Italy's Sky. "We'll see tomorrow (Saturday) and we'll see what happens. This (format) was never my idea, it was the FIA."

A poll conducted by the German broadcaster RTL said 91 per cent of fans are in favor of scrapping the current system.

03/31/16 (GMM) A local sports official is confident Monza will secure its place on the F1 calendar for 2017 and beyond.

Negotiations between Bernie Ecclestone and race organizers are ongoing and reportedly troubled, but Oreste Perri, president of Lombardy's Olympic committee, is upbeat.

"Just now I spoke with my delegate of Monza and he told me the grand prix will be saved," he is quoted by local reports including Mediaset.

"We must continue to work on it because we do not want it to be safe for one year only and then we are talking about it again," Perri added.

"Monza is Monza and I think formula one would lose a lot without it."

However, F1 supremo Ecclestone warned only on Sunday that the sport could survive without one of its most historic venues.

"I don't think we have to have Monza or an Italian grand prix," he told F1 business journalist Christian Sylt in the Mail on Sunday.

"Somebody once told me a funny thing that you couldn't have formula one without a race in France. But we do," added Ecclestone.

03/25/16

Bernie knows how to play race promoters like a fiddle to extract more money from the government

F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "is convinced that the Italian Grand Prix has a future at Monza," according to the SID. Ecclestone's comment comes only a day after Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano reported that negotiations between the series and race promoters "have collapsed."

The 85-year-old Brit told Gazzetta dello Sport, "In the end we will have a positive outcome following the negotiations, I'm convinced."
F1 is reportedly asking for a hosting fee of $28M. Monza "has hosted the Italian F1 Grand Prix since '50, with only one exception in '80. SID

03/24/16

F1 "is close to losing another historic European venue," according to BILD. Angelo Sticchi Damiani, president of race promoter CSAI, told Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano,

"There is no more wiggle room for negotiations."

The sticking point between the racetrack in Monza and F1 "is as usual money." F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone is reportedly asking for a hosting fee of $28M per year. It is a figure that organizers "do not want to pay or cannot pay."

This year's Italian Grand Prix, which is scheduled for Sept. 4, is secured, but Monza's future in '17 "is completely up in the air." The racetrack in Imola, which previously hosted the San Marino Grand Prix until '06, "could replace Monza on the F1 calendar" BILD

However, All hope that Monza will keep hosting the Italian grand prix beyond 2016 is not lost yet.

That is the claim of the fabled Autodromo Nazionale's operating company Sias, hot on the heels of reports that negotiations with Bernie Ecclestone have broken down terminally.

"Autodromo Nazionale Monza has not received any official communication regarding the failure of the negotiations to renew the agreement with FOM," Sias declared in a statement.

"We therefore reiterate our confidence in Angelo Sticchi Damiani, president of the (Italian automobile club) Aci, that he is doing everything possible to ensure that Monza continues to be the natural home of the grand prix in our country," it added.

It has been reported the next host of the Italian grand prix could be Imola, having last staged a round of the world championship in 2006.

02/15/16

If there is no Monza Ferrari will quit F1 and Bernie knows it
If there is no Monza Ferrari will quit F1 and Bernie knows it

The future of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza "remains uncertain" after this year with Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone saying on Friday that a deal "had become more complicated," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS.

The historic circuit near Milan, "which has been on the calendar every year bar one" since the championship started in '50, will host Italy's only race in September but has no contract beyond '16.

Ecclestone: "It's Italian. A lot of conversations at the moment and not much action. 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.' And now I heard yesterday it's become very political … they'll get on with it. Or not. Nothing we can do about it."

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

Media reports indicated "one sticking point was over financial guarantees for circuit improvements." Ecclestone: "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." Reuters

01/09/16

Monza is magic. Here Button enters the Parabolica

(GMM) A new contract to secure the future of the historic Italian grand prix at Monza is now "close" to being signed.

That was the claim late on Friday of Angelo Sticchi Damiani, the chief of the Italian automobile club (Aci).

A recent legislative tweak means the Aci can now take on the bulk of the responsibility for funding the fee payable to Bernie Ecclestone, which had earlier endangered the future of the race at the fabled Autodromo.

"The Autodromo di Monza has had difficult times," Italian media on Friday quoted Sticchi Damiani as saying, "but the worse is over now.

"Today we are close to signing with Ecclestone in order to have the formula one grand prix in Brianza for another seven years," he revealed.

"We are going to win the battle that led Aci to making tremendous sacrifices," said the club's president.

12/24/15 (GMM) Race officials are now confident formula one is staying in Italy.

"The Monza grand prix is saved," proclaimed Italian automobile club (Aci) chief Angelo Sticchi Damiani.

His confidence follows progress in the Italian parliament recently, where the controversial 'stability law' was tweaked in order to help authorities raise the necessary money to ink a new deal with Bernie Ecclestone.

La Gazzetta dello Sport said the law tweak is crucial, as Aci is now able to contribute about two thirds of what F1 supremo Ecclestone is demanding.

The rest will come from the automobile club of Milan, led by former F1 driver Ivan Capelli.

"Ac Milano thinks it can cover about 6.5 million dollars, which is what it collects through ticket sales, and we will make the difference: about 12.5 million," Sticchi Damiani added.

"It is a significant financial commitment that will force us to draw up a plan of savings," he said.

But the next step will be a meeting with Ecclestone, reportedly in the first half of January.

"The agreement with Bernie has essentially already been found," Sticchi Damiani revealed, "we just have to focus on a few details including the duration of the contract.

"The objective is to sign the agreement, with myself and Capelli, by the end of January," he added.

12/17/15 The future of the Italian Grand Prix could be settled in the coming weeks as the Italian parliament is expected to approve new legislation that would increase funding for the race, according to reports in Italy.

A new four or seven year deal could then be inked in the New Year.

The race at Monza has been under threat for some time and at the Italian Grand Prix in September, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone warned organizers that it could lose its place on the calendar if increased hosting fees, which are believed to be around 25m euro annually were not accepted when the current contract runs out in 2016.

Monza podium

But a report in Gazzetta Dello Sport suggests that the Italian government has agreed to let the Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI) change a statute to use its finances to help fund the Italian race, as there had previously been a limitation on how it could use its resources.

Angelo Sticchi Damiani, president of the ACI, explained that the changes are likely to be approved before Christmas and he praised the intervention of the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, who appeared at Monza and spoke with Ecclestone in person.

Angelo Sticchi Damiani

He said: “This statute prevented us from intervening to save Monza. We had problems distinguishing income from sport and other activities. This change has been decisive and so the most important work is now done.

"At this point, it has to be approved by parliament, which should be done before Christmas. I have to say that it was important to have Matteo Renzi at the Grand Prix."

When Renzi met with Ecclestone, he explained at the time that the ACI was needed to guarantee the future of the Italian Grand Prix. Once the amendment has been approved, Sticchi Damiani will be able to close the deal with Ecclestone and save the Monza race.

Matteo Renzi Bernie Ecclestone

However, it is understood that there are still some details to be fine-tuned before it is officially confirmed, including the duration of the contract, which could either be four years or seven years, with Ecclestone thought to favor a seven-year deal.

It has also been suggested that the Automobile Club Milano will also be providing funds to the race in the coming years and the region of Lombardy will contribute 70m euro over ten years, which includes cash for some new infrastructure to be built at the circuit. James Allen on F1

09/07/15

Monza's hopes of staying on the F1 calendar after '16 have risen after a weekend that "left no doubt about the historic Italian circuit's importance to drivers, fans and the very fabric of the sport," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS.

Following talks with race organizers and politicians, including Italian PM Matteo Renzi, F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone said, "We'll get something done, I'm sure." Lombardy region President Roberto Maroni said that he was 99.9% sure a deal "would be done by the end of the year while Renzi also sounded optimistic." Renzi said, "If the government is needed, we'll be there."

There are "still hurdles to overcome, with Ecclestone making clear previously that Monza could expect no cut-price deals, but local officials were making positive noises about that too."

Italian Olympic Committee President Giovanni Malago said, "I'm sure that the money will be found."

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel said, "If we take this away from the calendar for any shitty money reasons I think you are basically ripping our hearts out."

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton said, "This is one of the best tracks in the world. This has to stay here for moral reasons. We definitely have to keep this." Reuters

08/21/15 The Italian Grand Prix at Monza is likely to be dropped for 2016 according to F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

There has been a lot of speculation regarding the future of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, however, last month it appeared a deal was close to being agreed after there were reports of a regional financial package.

Ecclestone told Autosport that Monza's chances of holding a Grand Prix in 2016 were fading.

"I don't know about Monza at the moment," said Ecclestone.

"I have meetings there in September so we will see.

"I hope we don't lose it, but I think there is a good chance we will."

Monza has been on the Formula One calendar since 1950 and has hosted every Italian Grand Prix other than the 1980 Grand Prix which went to Imola.

Ecclestone added that he will not offer Monza a cut-price deal to host the Grand Prix as "everyone should pay the same".

The future regarding the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim still remains unclear.

The 84-year old confirmed they have a deal with Hockenheim to host the German Grand Prix until 2018, however, would need support from the German government. He added Nurburgring are no longer interested in holding a Formula One event.

"Really I have no idea.

"We have a contract with Hockenheim until 2018 so let's see what happens.

"I hope they'll get some support. They need support from Germany."

"With the people who have taken over the Nurburgring, I don't think they are that interested," Ecclestone added.

08/03/15

This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today."We can do it by early September," Lombardy governor Roberto Maroni told the Italian publication. "With this tax free investment we can close the deal with Mr. Ecclestone.

"The grand prix has to stay at Monza, because Monza is Monza," he added.

Although happy to keep the Italian event at Monza – and why wouldn't he be, it is one of the most popular and iconic venues on the calendar – Ecclestone is insistent that (unlike payments to teams) there can be no concessions.

Subsequently talking to Radio Monte Carlo, Maroni said there is a 90% chance of Monza retaining the race.

"90%, the Grand Prix is saved," he declared. "The good news is that finally, after many attempts, the senate has approved a change of legislation, allowing the Lombardy Region to clear the Monza circuit from paying 10 million euros of taxes. This money can be put towards saving the grand prix and renewing the agreement."

05/22/15 Monza's Formula 1 future hangs in the balance after meetings between track chiefs and Bernie Ecclestone failed to make progress in reaching a new deal.

Ecclestone met with Angelo Sticchi Damiani, the president of the Italian motorsport federation (ACI CSAI), in Monaco on Friday to discuss a host of matters – including the Italian Grand Prix.

But with Monza chiefs still unable to come up with the race fee hike that Ecclestone is demanding for a new contract after 2016, discussions appear to have stalled.

And until the finances are in place, it is unlikely that negotiations will be able to resume.

When asked if it was a green or red light for the Italian GP after the meeting, Damiani told Motorsport.com: “There is no light at the moment."

Pushed on if there was a deadline to find the money, he said: “If we can find the money, then time is not a problem. But it is better to find a solution."

Situation not improved

Former grand prix driver Ivan Capelli, who as president of the Automobile Club of Milan is involved in trying to help save the race, admitted the situation had not moved forward as had been hoped.

“We are working hard every single day to find the possibility to propose the right deal for Bernie," he said. “We need obviously to create the right proposal for Bernie."

When asked how important it was now for Monza to try to seek the extra finance itself, he said: “At the moment, it is critical."

Government finance may be key

Monza's hopes may now rest on the Italian national government stepping forward and helping fund any shortfall in funding – believed to be around 10 million Euros.

The track has been able to secure around 20 million Euros of investment from the Lombardy regional government, but this can only be spent on infrastructure rather than race-sanctioning fees.

Capelli said: “It is not money that will be used to confirm the contract with Bernie, but to reorganize the circuit, the area around it and the golf club. It is money that must be shared in different kinds of worlds."
Mugello not considered yet

Damiani said his priority was to save the Monza race, and not consider alternative options such as Mugello.

“If we make good work then we will likely have a grand prix at Monza," he said. “The other option only comes up if we make bad work, but I think it is possible to have a future there." Motorsport.com

02/11/15

Monza

This rumor will soon be downgraded to 'false.' The Italian Grand Prix at Monza, one of the few landmark races left, is set to be saved.

The present and future of the iconic event had been put in jeopardy by the increased financial demands of Bernie Ecclestone, who is unhappy with the current contract which is set to expire after the 2016 race. As a result, immediately after his appointment as new head of ACI Milan – the body which manages the circuit – Ivan Capelli started a pro-Monza lobbying campaign, which has proven effective.

The Lombardy regional government agreed some months ago to grant a $80 million contribution to the track. In exchange, it will become co-owner of the Parco and Villa of Monza, alongside the cities of Milan and Monza.

Unfortunately, a last hurdle came into the way of this solution. Having a real estate property dimension, the transaction entailed the payment of taxes and registration rights up to $25 million, a price that the region could not justify from a political stand point. An attempt to 'detax' the deal, at the end of 2014 failed, as the Italian government refused the rationale.

However, the cabinet of Matteo Renzi has since changed its approach. Now, the Monza deal is confirmed to be on the list of exceptions attached to the decree amending the national budget that the lower house of Parliament is starting to debate and vote this week.

07/25/14 Former F1 driver Ivan Capelli is determined to ensure Monza remains on the Formula 1 calendar but admits upgrades are needed.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone recently cast doubt over Monza's future, saying it is not financial viable for the sport.

He told 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."

However, Capelli, who was recently elected to the board of directors of the Automobile Club of Milan, who manage the Monza circuit, says he plans to do everything he can to ensure F1 returns to Monza.

"I read in the newspapers that Bernie was not happy about the commercial agreement that he had before," he told Autosport.

"I didn't have any opportunity until now to have a chat with him, but I suppose in the next few weeks there will probably be an opportunity to exchange some ideas with him.

"Plus next week, there will be the first official meeting about that, and obviously we are keen to continue with what we have done until now.

"Monza is historically one of the oldest grands prix and we would like to continue after 2015, knowing that Bernie is always pushing everybody in his direction."

The 51-year-old, though, did concede that Monza must move with the times and that investment is needed to upgrade the facilities.

"I think that Monza needs to do a step forward because it is not possible that Monza lives as it does," he said.

"It must produce something to improve its situation. I think that for the teams, the garages are average for F1 now. We also have to do a lot for the spectators, that is one of the objectives."

07/01/14 (GMM) Monza is on a three-race countdown to the F1 exit, Bernie Ecclestone warned on Tuesday.

Italy's Autodromo Nazionale is one of the last remaining iconic venues on the calendar, but F1 chief executive Ecclestone says he will say "bye-bye" to Monza after 2016.

"Audiences are lower in Italy than anywhere," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Ecclestone confirmed that Monza's contract does not expire until after the 2016 race, but the future is "Not good".

"I don't think we'll do another contract," he said. "The old one was a disaster for us from a commercial point of view. After 2016, bye-bye."

Ecclestone's statement might be interpreted as an opening door for Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, who makes no secret he would like a grand prix at Mugello.

Asked if they have already discussed the matter, Ecclestone insisted: "No, I have not received any proposal."

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