F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says plans for an F1 race on the streets of Rome are 'moving forward' with hopes that an event could take place by 2013.
Ecclestone has made no secret of his desire to hold a race in the Italian capital as part of his new-look F1 calendar, which has the seen the sport move away from some of the traditional circuits to places like Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and China.
Negotiations are believed to be an advanced stage to take F1 to the streets of Rome, while Ecclestone is also keen to take the sport to Russia, where interest has been raised by Vitaly Petrov's graduation from GP2.
"Rome is moving forward,” Bernie told the Daily Telegrph
. “It's going to be good. It's a bit political, obviously. But Rome could be ready in 2013 and Russia about the same time.
"The Russians are good people. They get on with things. It is a matter of whether it suits us or not. I have to have a look at it first."
Ecclestone was speaking the 'paper in the glamorous surroundings of Monte Carlo although he was quick to point out F1's blue riband event had its downsides.
"It drives me mad to work here,” he said. “It is not an easy place to operate, obviously. But in the end it still has that nice bit of glamour. They gave me a watch a few years back when I had done 50 consecutive races here. You didn't see any of these big buildings in the paddock that we have now. Everything was completely different.
"People ask me if I would go back to those days. Everybody seems to want to go back except when you get there you wish you hadn't. It's romantic more than anything."