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Bye, bye to Monza?

NEWS STORY
01/07/2014

One of the most historic tracks on the F1 calendar looks set to be dropped, according to Bernie Ecclestone.

The Autodromo Nazionale Monza, which first hosted the Italian Grand Prix in 1922 - long before the formation of the Formula One World Championship as we now know it - and has hosted the country's round of the championship every year except 1980, has enjoyed a difficult relationship with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

Much like Silverstone, Ecclestone sees the legendary circuit as an anachronism as he attempts to take the sport ‘forward’. Better the brand new bling of Singapore and Abu Dhabi than the fading history of Monza.

"I do not think we'll do another contract, the old one was a disaster from the commercial point of view," he is quoted as saying by the Italian media. "After 2016, bye bye!" he added.

Despite a massive overhaul to the pit and paddock facilities in recent years, which meant the destruction of numerous sights of historic interest, Ecclestone remains unhappy with the circuit and its promoters. The current deal, agreed in 2010, runs out in 2016.

Antonio Rossi, of the Department of Sport and Youth Policy of the Lombardy Region, has called on the government to intervene: "Ecclestone's statement on the Grand Prix at Monza is of great concern, and as a regional councillor I call on the government to help protect the Grand Prix of Italy, which has not only played an important part in the history of Formula 1 and, but also plays an important economic role and brings jobs to the region."

A championship without Monza on the calendar seems unthinkable for though the superfast track has been totally emasculated over the years and is now widely seen as 'point and squirt', it remains one of the most historic and charismatic on the calendar.

Sadly, as ever in F1, there would appear to be an agenda at work, with talk of Mugello being proposed as an alternative venue. This would not be the first time that such a move has been made, the Tuscan circuit, being owned by Ferrari.

Chris Balfe

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by 4-Wheel Drifter, 04/07/2014 1:21

"Well, I, for one, am very happy to see Bernie admit that for him F1 is not about racing but about money. That you need money to race is and always has been true but that racing is for money is one of the worst ideas anyone ever got. To think that you would give so much of your life to a thing, that you would even risk your life to win and that someone would think you did it for money is simply proof that Bernie is (put in your favorite descriptor)"

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2. Posted by Carugatese, 03/07/2014 12:33

"Monza has lost part of the magic of its track, but a myth can not be dismissed."

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3. Posted by Mike Jacobson, 03/07/2014 4:38

"It's just Bernie doing his usual 'Arfur Daley act. If the promoters don't unite against him, then more fool them for letting him grab their short and curlies."

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4. Posted by fredfrog, 02/07/2014 8:19

"Disgusting individual! He stole F1, just like Ron Dennis says, and has made obscene amounts of money from it. And he still wants more! His sense of value is so distorted ... to imagine no Monza is unthinkable!
Despite the so called "good" he has done, together with his mate at the FIA, they're taking the sport down a dead end ... it's time the teams took back their sport.
And get rid of that nasty little man."

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5. Posted by karel, 02/07/2014 7:26

"It's time for Ecclestone to go, there was a period he did well for F1, now he turned in to a money machine with respect for nothing. Although F1 is merely dead, time for somebody to restore the values of the real F1.
That's all I can write here, it comes from the heart. He and some other are blinded by money and corruption is never far off"

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6. Posted by Loz, 02/07/2014 0:58

"Seriously? Do they consider the fans or the history? Or merely the money?"

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7. Posted by gturner38, 02/07/2014 0:33

"Has nobody ever paid any attention to how this works? A contract is up in a little over a year. Bernie suggests there are big challenges that stand in the way of keeping the race. We wait for local governments to come up with more cash. Suddenly those challenges can be overcome."

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8. Posted by Kkiirmki, 01/07/2014 21:38

"Just take look at the photo that accompanies this article and tell me you see that at Singapore or Abu Dhabi. Monza is about real racing and real fans, but don't let that get in your way Bernie."

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9. Posted by Ro, 01/07/2014 21:34

"Its also about time the F1 teams broke away from CVC, then at least we would have F1 racing as the pinnacle. The current regulations should be for endurance racing."

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10. Posted by Paul C, 01/07/2014 19:53

"Drop Bernie, not Monza."

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11. Posted by Darvi, 01/07/2014 18:11

"Forget about what the spectators want - the most important point is that CVC get as much revenue as possible. Who cares about legacy and the massive contribution that circuits made to build F1 into what it is today, without which the lamentable Ecclestone would have nothing to sell.

The sooner he retires the better.

"

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12. Posted by ESTMPRFT, 01/07/2014 17:14

"I take this to mean that Bernie wants his pockets lined ... again."

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13. Posted by Ro, 01/07/2014 16:31

"With the decline in viewing figures, Mr Ecclestone should listen to the fans...Dropping Monza is like not having Wimbledon in Wimbledon and Wembley Stadium to not host the FA cup. All I can say to Mr Ecclestone is : Listen to what people want. Maybe he should apply to be an MEP.....they also seem to be on another planet and make bucketful of money..."

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14. Posted by Steve W, 01/07/2014 16:31

"And I suppose Monaco will be next. What the hell..."

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15. Posted by Peter W, 01/07/2014 16:31

"PS. In fact Bernie has passed his "sell by date" in F1"

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