Monza not giving up on fans attending 2020 race

Angelo Sticchi Damiani can dream of having fans at Monza
Angelo Sticchi Damiani can dream of having fans at Monza

(GMM) Monza is not giving up on hosting an Italian GP later in 2020, according to Italian automobile club president Angelo Sticchi Damiani.

Italy has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, but Damiani indicated that Monza wants to be on the rescheduled calendar.

"What will the grands prix look like in the coronavirus era?" he told Rai radio.

"The paddock will certainly be much less crowded, so let's imagine a reduction of 30-40 percent of the people who were there last year."

He said a repeat of Australia at Monza or elsewhere, where the race was cancelled at the last minute, would be "the end of the world championship this year".

And so he says Italy is being careful as it plans the next steps.

"To draw up a protocol for F1, at least for Italy, in addition to having a medical working group we also turned to an important virologist who will assist us in this phase and give us all the information to host the Italian GP," Damiani revealed.

Monza's original 2020 race date was for September, so it is possible that by then spectators will once again be allowed to fill the grandstands.

"It's difficult to make predictions now, so we would like to wait a few more weeks before deciding. We have to understand what the situation will be on that September weekend," he said.

Like many other events, Damiani is warning that banning spectators will hurt Monza financially.

"Of course we are preparing for all possibilities and renegotiating the relationship with Liberty Media," he said.

"Our losses? Without an audience they would be significant, but I want to avoid that hypothesis for now because I hope from the bottom of my heart that it will not be the case."

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