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New Monza deal agreed?

NEWS STORY
31/08/2016

It is understood that a new deal has been agreed which will see the Italian Grand Prix remain at Monza.

With the current contract running out after this weekend's race, and talks still at stalemate despite months of negotiations, there have been fears that the Italian Grand Prix might head to Imola or even drop off the calendar entirely.

As ever, the sticking point was money, with the Italian Automobile Club (ACI) unable to meet Bernie Ecclestone's demands, the F1 supremo putting the blame entirely on the ACI insisting it was dithering.

As talks stalled, salvation for the Grand Prix appeared in the form of Imola, which was keen to host the event, Ecclestone clearly tiring of the saga, describing the situation as "very political".

Now on the eve of the Grand Prix it is claimed the deal has been done, with (ACI) President Angelo Sticchi Damiani telling reporters: "The lawyers will exchange their last considerations in London in the next few hours, and I expect the contract to be signed at the weekend.

"We've had to work hard," he added, and thanked Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi for providing the "turning point" by meeting Ecclestone last year.

He also thanked the Lombardy regional government for its support. Indeed, Roberto Maroni, president of the Lombardy region, confirmed the agreement on Facebook. "The Grand Prix will stay in Monza," he wrote. "With a few days to go until the signing of the contract, I'm very satisfied."

"The required investment is 17 million dollars more than the current contract. We couldn't have done it on our own," said Damiani, adding that Ecclestone was extremely patient, "a sign that Monza is important for him also".

Interestingly however, the deal is understood to only be for three years, taking the race up to 2019.

"There are those who expected a longer period," admitted Damiani, "but if the system will work then a further renewal will not be a problem.

"There is another aspect," he added. "We know that Europe has so many organisers in crisis, while destinations such as Turkey, Korea and India were short-lived. We have seen that it is a question of money, but also of culture. Here in Europe is the 'DNA' of racing. So let's wait and see what happens."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by edllorca, 31/08/2016 15:35

"Too bad. Imola is such a better track I was looking forward to a switch."

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