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When in Rome... get yourself a trademark

NEWS STORY
03/06/2009

There are lots of rumours out there concerning new venues for Grands Prix. Moscow, New York, Miami and Mexico have all been mooted in recent months but news has now emerged that in fact a street race in Rome is likely to beat all these to the calendar in a move which could squeeze the troubled British GP out of F1.

Writing in the Evening Standard, Pitpass' business editor Chris Sylt reveals that F1's parent company has applied for a pan-European trademark for the phrase 'Formula 1 Gran Premio di Roma'. It is believed that the Rome race will accompany the Italian Grand Prix in Monza on F1's calendar and it would be the first time since the 1980s that the name of a city has been included in the title of a Grand Prix.

The trademark application was filed on the 3rd of April this year and it is a crucial step in the process of bringing a race to the F1 calendar. It covers three classes including sports events, radio and television and printed matter, such as race programmes.

It is believed that the race will be run on a 4.6-kilometre circuit through the streets of the financial district south-west of the ancient heart of Rome. The area is ideal to host a Grand Prix as it has streets which were widened to accommodate heavy traffic for the 1942 Universal Exposition.

Holding an F1 race in Rome was the dream of the late Enzo Ferrari and the inaugural Rome race is expected to be held in 2011, 23 years after his death. Its inclusion on the F1 calendar increases the likelihood that the British GP will be forced out.

The British GP is due to move to Donington next year but this is now in question after several severe setbacks hit the race promoter. A key financial backer reportedly recently pulled out leaving a hole in its 100m budget and it is being sued for 2.5m in unpaid rent allegedly due to Donington's owner.

It also recently came to light that Simon Gillett, the promoter's managing director, has previously owned a similar type of motorsport company which ended up going bankrupt with a 200,000 deficit in the amount it owed to creditors.

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