Bernie Ecclestone has risked running the wrath of the tifosi, amongst others, after claiming that F1 life would go on without Monza should bids to save the Italian Grand Prix fail.

The legendary Autodromo Nazionale is facing the prospect of just one more year on the F1 schedule should an agreement over hosting fees not be reached between FOM and SIAS, the organisation handling negotiations on the circuit side, with no contract in place beyond this September's race. Despite positive noises over the New Year, no further progress has been made, with Ecclestone veering from claiming that a way would be found to save the race to now suggesting that F1 doesn't actually need one of its most historic events after all.

Of course, it wouldn't be a new Ecclestone tactic to use such a comment to spur the opposite camp into action but, with 21 races on this year's calendar - and teams baulking at that - losing one, however meritorious, would not be an issue.

"Monza has got a contract for this year, so it is going to go ahead, but next year is the question mark," the 85-year old - who claims to have a deal to race in Las Vegas - told Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper, "I don't think we have to have an Italian Grand Prix. Somebody once told me a funny thing, that you couldn't have F1 without a race in France, but we do..."

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