Monza set to lose Italian Grand Prix to Imola


Monza appears set to lose the rights to host the Italian Grand Prix as organisers at Imola claim to have struck a deal with Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

'The Cathedral of Speed' has been beset by financial issues in recent years, struggling to pay the costly fees that saw the similarly iconic Nurburgring lose rights to host F1 last year.

Imola staged 26 San Marino Grands Prix, as well as one Italian GP, between 1980 and 2006 -when it last appeared on the schedule.

Though Automobile Club d'Italia president Angelo Sticchi Damiani appears firmly in Monza's corner, the spiritual home of Ferrari's days on the F1 calendar appear to be numbered.

"Bernie knows that we are available," Formula Imola president Uberto Selvatico Estense told

"And he sent us a proposal that we signed and sent back to him. We will be very happy to have F1 back in Imola. Our main effort is to achieve this kind of result.

"It just depends on Angelo Sticchi Damiani. I think it's a political issue. We have an agreement with Bernie, and we only need the approval of the national sporting authority. If in the future there is not an Italian GP, it is only the problem of Mr Sticchi Damiani, who didn't allow this agreement."

With support from local government, Estense is keen to set the wheels in motion to ensure facilities at Imola are up to scratch.

"I think we don't have too much time to decide," he added. "We are going on with the work, also without an answer from Mr Sticchi Damaini.

"I think we have until December, maximum. I think it's the limit, but the best thing will be before so we have one year to promote the race."