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Italy only needs one F1 race, says Montezemolo

Luca di Montezemolo: Ecclestone's letter is not a failure for Rome, but the awareness that there is a desire to have just one Grand Prix in Italy.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo is in agreement with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone that Italy doesn't need two grand's prix.

Rome's bid to host an event around the streets of its EUR district all but disappeared last week, when a letter sent to the mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, by Ecclestone, was leaked by Italian newspaper La Repubblica [see separate story - click here].

To summarise, in that correspondence Ecclestone said Monza would always take precedence over Rome given its history. Mr E also added that at a time when F1 was pushing to expand into new regions, the idea of two races in one country wasn't practical. Indeed while Spain currently welcomes F1 in both Barcelona and Valencia, the latter is expected to rotate the European Grand Prix banner with circuits in other countries in the near future.

Speaking at Ferrari's traditional pre-season 'Wrooom' event last week, at the Madonna di Campiglio ski resort in the Italian Dolomites, Montezemolo echoed those thoughts and added in his view there is already too many F1 races per year anyway.

“I said it at the Christmas dinner with the Italian media: the teams' view is not to exceed a certain number of races per year: already the season goes on forever,” he told reporters.

“The preference is to have Grand's Prix in new countries in important markets, first off in the United States, rather than have two races in Germany, Spain, or eventually Italy. Ecclestone's letter is not a failure for Rome, but the awareness that there is a desire to have just one Grand Prix in Italy.”

According to Maurizio Flammini, the man behind the Rome GP bid, Ecclestone has suggested Monza and Rome could alternate hosting the Italian GP and Montezemolo believes that is a possibility.

“Alternating it with Monza?” he pondered. “We would need to see if that suits Bernie Ecclestone, if the conditions are right and if the two cities can agree, while [also] not forgetting that Monza is a permanent circuit that is part of the history of F1.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Saturday Practice, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo(ita), President Scuderia Ferrari
Saturday Practice, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo(ita), President Scuderia Ferrari
Qualifying, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo(ita), President Scuderia Ferrari
Qualifying, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo(ita), President Scuderia Ferrari
Saturday Practice, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo(ita), President Scuderia Ferrari
Qualifying, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo(ita), President Scuderia Ferrari

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Mark _

January 19, 2011 8:05 PM

I also like Imola but they really should look at a way to restore the track. The knee jerk changes that were made after Senna and Ratzenburger died were a bit over the top. With the new Safer Barrier along with paved runoff areas they could safely run it in it's old configuration.

Alan D - Unregistered

January 19, 2011 7:54 PM

Andrew, you are quite right. I always thought of the Imola race as the San Marino GP. I know that technically it is in Italy, and it was probably called the San Marino GP to get around the "one race per country" rule, just like Spain has the "European" GP. I'd rather they scrapped the rule and had one which said "One race per great racetrack" instead.



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