Future of Italian F1 race set to be settled


Monza (Italy) (AFP)

After months of doubt, the future of the Italian Grand Prix is expected to be resolved this weekend with Formula One's commercial ring-master Bernie Ecclestone signing a deal to keep the event at its long-time home Monza.

The head of the Italian motorsport federation (ACI), Angelo Sticchi Damiani, told reporters at Monza that a 68 million euros ($75.7m) agreement has been provisionally agreed keeping the race at Monza for three more years from 2017 to 2019.

He said that he hoped final details will be agreed during this weekend's Italian Grand Prix with a formal announcement confirming the deal.

Sticchi Damiani said that the local Lombardy Region had agreed to contribute around 15 million euros ($16.7m) to ensure the deal went through.

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

"But there is another aspect -- we know that Europe has so many organisers in crisis, while some 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 there is the 'DNA' of racing. So let's wait and see what happens."

He added that Imola, which had been put forward as an alternative venue, would have been a sensible alternative.

"Imola would have been a good fallback solution if we had not arrived at a deal."