Jun.17 (GMM) Imola chief Uberto Selvatico Estense says the former San Marino GP venue is “ready” and poised to replace Monza as Italy’s sole F1 race.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is still warning that intense and typical Italian politics could mean historic Monza loses the grand prix after 2016.
“The most humiliating moment was not when Bernie Ecclestone commented on the great mess with the English newspapers, saying the Italians would probably only agree on the Thursday before the race,” Selvatico Estense told La Repubblica.
“No, the worst was the next day, when I realised that he is right,” he added.
The Imola chief explained how the circuit 40 kilometres east of Bologna became a very real alternative to Monza.
“Simple: after four years of negotiations (with Monza) that made him lose patience, Ecclestone called us that gave us the same conditions.
“We accepted,” said Selvatico Estense. “So we signed a contract for the Italian grand prix from 2017.”
La Repubblica said the deal is currently only conditional, and depending on whether funds in the hands of the Italian automobile club Aci can be released.
“The Aci argues that the money is only for Monza, but we say that it is intended for the Italian GP,” Selvatico Estense said.
“If the state had allocated that money to Monza it would benefit a single company, which is illegal.”
However, Selvatico Estense insists that Imola is “ready” to host the 2017 race.