Despite various positive comments regarding progress in talks over the past couple of months, it remains far from certain that the Italian Grand Prix will remain at Monza beyond this season.
While early September's visit to the Autodromo Nazionale is assured, negotiations over a contract extension have apparently broken down without resolution, despite both sides believing that they were nearing a deal at the start of the year. With the circuit struggling to meet FOM's hosting fees, new legislation, which allows for increased government funding for the race, was passed in a bid to stave off what many saw as an inevitable exit from the F1 calendar, and Automobile Club d'Italia president Angelo Sticchi Damiani appeared optimistic that a long-term deal was imminent, but operating company SIAS confirms that talks have not progressed much since.
"Autodromo Nazionale Monza has not received any official communication regarding the failure of the negotiations to renew the agreement with FOM," the company admitted in an official statement, "We therefore reiterate our confidence in Angelo Sticchi Damiani, that he is doing everything possible to ensure that Monza continues to be the natural home of the grand prix in our country."
F1 commercial guru Bernie Ecclestone, however, expressed a more positive note when speaking to the Italian media recently, believing that Monza would be able to reach an agreement and thus prevent Imola making a late bid for the race in future years.
“I think they will continue to hold a grand prix,” the Briton told Gazzetta dello Sport
, “It's a discussion amongst men and we are still talking. In the end, we will reach a conclusion, I am certain.”