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 favour of scrapping the current system.