Imola could return to host the Italian Grand Prix alongside Monza in a race-sharing deal as a way of ensuring the historic event remains on the F1 calendar, it has been revealed.
Though considered one of the more iconic events on the current calendar, the Italian Grand Prix faces the axe after organisers in Monza made it clear they are unwilling to negotiate beyond its current contract – which ends in 2016 - with the hosting fees as demanded by Bernie Ecclestone's FOM.
With Ecclestone steadfast in his willingness to drop the Italian race should Monza not wish to agree to a new deal under his terms, a potential solution has been raised by the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit in Imola, which could rotate the event with Monza.
Launching a bid that is understood to be financed by private investors, organisers have met with Ecclestone to discuss the possibility of a return.
"Imola is proposing to alternate with Monza,” Ecclestone is quoted by Gazzetta dello Sport
. “We could do that. I want to ensure Italy stays on the calendar.”
Imola made its debut on the F1 calendar in 1980 having stepped in as a temporary Italian Grand Prix event for a single year, before being granted its own round under the San Marino Grand Prix banner from 1981 until 2006.
Located between Faenza – base of the Toro Rosso team – and Bologna, Imola became infamous in 1994 due to the deaths of both Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger on the same race weekend. Following their deaths, revisions to the circuit were made, with chicanes inserted into the previously high-speed Tamburello and Villeneuve bends.