Only a couple of days before the start of the Italian Grand Prix, chief executive Bernie Ecclestone announced that he was not expecting any more talks with Monza Autodrome about renewing their contract with the sport of Formula 1.
It was revealed earlier in the year that the Italian Grand Prix is most likely in the future to become a mutual event, between the Monza, the circuit which is used today, and Imola, another of the country’s well known tracks. Negotiations on the cost of this have been alive for a dreary two years.
In the opinion of Autosport, there is a €10m difference in attitude between Ecclestone and the race organisers. FOM have demanded €25m per annum, which is €10m more that the current agreement with the circuit.
Ecclestone is insistant in the fact that Monza pays the same price as the other tracks in the European section of the sport.
“The bottom line is we’ve got something to sell and they have to decide whether they want to buy it. The price we are asking for is the same as the other people in Europe are paying.”
“They had a very good deal which went back years before and they’d like to continue, but maybe it doesn’t suit certain people. Maybe something they’ve enjoyed in the past they won’t be enjoying [in the future].”
Monza’s future on the racing calender has fuelled heated debates over recent weeks, including fans, ex-drivers and even the Italian Premier. Matteo Renzi, involved with the Italian Premier, stated his opinions on Italian Radio, RTL:
“Leave Monza alone! That’s what we’re going to tell Ecclestone. Formula 1 doesn’t rely solely on money. It’s also about history.”
His opinion has been echoed by Sir Jackie Stewart, whose belief is that the traditional circuits must be protected, in order to preserve the sport.