As the F1 world rejoices at the historic, high speed and highly popular Monza, the future of the fabled Italian grand prix remains in serious doubt.
Bernie Ecclestone, the sport’s chief executive, said recently the current contract is “a disaster for us from a commercial point of view. After 2016, bye-bye.”
The comments sparked waves of worry among F1 fans and, in particular, the world-famous Tifosi.
For Ferrari, too, Monza is important.
“Monza is unique,” the Maranello marque’s president Luca di Montezemolo told Italian-speaking reporters at the Autodromo Nazionale on Saturday.
“The atmosphere here is second to none. I cannot imagine that there will be problems for the future of this race, but I will talk with Bernie Ecclestone,” he announced.
Talks, however, are already taking place this weekend between Ecclestone and new Monza official Ivan Capelli, an Italian and former F1 driver.
Capelli is quoted by Speed Week: “I have already met with Bernie Ecclestone and in the coming days there will be more meetings.
“I will do everything in my power to retain the grand prix here. We strive for an extension until 2020, when the current Concorde Agreement expires,” he revealed.
Ecclestone also confirmed that meetings with Monza officials have taken place.
“I spoke with them this morning and it is quite simple: all we want is that Monza agrees to the contractual terms of all the other European races,” he said at Monza.
“I would just take the contract of any other race and put in the word ‘Monza’.”
He said he was confident a deal will be reached in the end. “I hope so,” said the F1 supremo. “They seem like competent people.” (GMM)