Domenicali: Italy can only host one race


Ferrari team boss Stefan Domenicali has poured cold water on Bernie Ecclestone's plans for a Grand Prix in Rome, claiming that the days when countries could support two races are over.

"Our position is very clear and leaves no room for interpretation," he told his team's official website. "Our sport is increasingly expanding the number of countries hosting a grand prix and all the teams are in agreement about that.

"Therefore it is inevitable that it will no longer be possible to have two races in the same nation. It's not the job of the teams who choose where a grand prix is held, that's up to the commercial rights holder."

Rome is just one of a number of iconic cities - New York, Paris and London are among the others - where Bernie Ecclestone wants to see F1 cars racing through the streets. Indeed, the F1 supremo has signed a letter on intent with the authorities in Rome to run a race through the streets of the EUR district, with 2012 and 2013 being mentioned as the possible date.

However, as Domenicali says, it is Ecclestone, whose job is to make profits for CVC, FOM and the teams, who will decide where the races go. While he would dearly love to see races in most of the world's capitals his job is made all the harder by the fact that only a dwindling number of nations are able to meet the huge financial demands of F1.

At the height of Schumacher's dominance of F1 with Ferrari, Germany and Italy both hosted two rounds of the championship, while Americans - who hope to see F1 return in 2012, remembers when they had rounds of the world championship in the east, west and one or two points in between.

These days, it is only the new economies of the east and the cash rich Emirates that can meet F1's financial demands, though Spain remains the anomaly, certainly in terms of Europe, with races in Barcelona and Valencia, though that is largely on the back of Fernando Alonso's success.

Ecclestone will host races wherever organisers are willing to pay the exorbitant hosting rights and wherever he thinks the backdrop will look best on TV. The teams, despite their protests, will gladly take the money.

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Published: 16/12/2010
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