Despite opposition from both Monza and Ferrari, Rome looks set to push ahead with plans to hold an F1 race from 2013 onwards.
Bernie Ecclestone has made no secret of his desire for a race on the streets of the Italian capital despite the fact that a survey of local residents has suggested that the majority are also against any plans for an F1 event.
However, in an interview with Il Riformista
over the festive period, Rome GP promoter Maurizio Flammini revealed that Ecclestone has told him to push ahead with plans for a race in 2013.
"The first race?" he said. "I expect it to be in 2013. According to the standard procedure [reviewing final plans] will take at least 60 days. If the project would have been approved by the end of the year, we would have been ready for 2012. In Italy everything is ready and the Formula One circus is ready to welcome us. A few days ago I spoke with Bernie Ecclestone and he asked me to go ahead. When we are ready, we will close the final agreement."
Flammini added that a deal needed to be agreed soon if a race was to happen, with the possibility that the opportunity could be lost to other venues if a deal remains unsigned.
"We signed a preliminary agreement for at least two years," he said. "Ecclestone is helping us but he is concerned about the delay. The competition is fierce, there are at least 30 other circuits that are pushing. If we don't hurry we may lose this opportunity."