• Italian GP

Rome race threatens Monza future

ESPNF1 Staff
January 13, 2010 « Schumacher upbeat about neck problem | »
Monza could be left off the calendar in favour of Rome © Sutton Images

Bernie Ecclestone is not considering accommodating two Italian races on future F1 calendars, according to the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat.

The newspaper's correspondent Heikki Kulta reported from Madonna di Campiglio this week that Rome's bid for a street race in 2012 endangers the historic Italian Grand Prix venue Monza.

Shortly before Christmas, Ecclestone confirmed an agreement for a seven-year race deal with Rome, hinting the layout would be close to the Vatican. "Every time there is an overtaking manoeuvre, we're going to put the black smoke up," he joked.

At the time of the initial announcement, reports suggested that the two races would both run in the same season. Gianni Alemanno, the mayor of Rome, said: "It's not true that it is an alternative to Monza. Monza is a grand prix on the circuit, and the grand prix of Rome is integrative to that of Monza, it's not a replacement."

However, the decision will ultimately be Ecclestone's. Spain currently has two grand prix, one at the Circuit de Catalunya and one on the streets of Valencia, and Italy hosted two events up until 2006, with the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola supplementing Monza. But with the introduction of a new race in Korea this year, and possibly another in India in 2011, the F1 calendar is getting close to having 20 races - an amount that would put intense pressure on the teams to get from venue to venue.