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Montezemolo: Italy only needs one F1 race

19 January 2011


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.”


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