Date: 29th March 2016 at 9:09am
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The future of the Italian Grand Prix is still in doubt according to Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

Throughout 2015 the long-term future of the Italian Grand Prix appeared to be under threat.

It seems that every few years one race always appears to be under threat of losing its slot on the Formula One calendar.

In the past it has been Silverstone, Australia has been a regular doubt and in more recent years Germany has struggled.

The idea of Formula One going ahead without a home race for Ferrari doesn’t seem plausible but the threat remains very real and the naysayers should look no further than France, who haven’t hosted a Formula One Grand Prix since 2008 despite many successful drivers coming from France and of course the influence of Renault.

Ecclestone is always keen to point to France as an example and there doesn’t appear to be any sense of nostalgia for the 85-year-old.

Since the start of the Formula One World Championship in 1950, Monza has hosted the Italian Grand Prix every year, apart from in 1980 when Imola staged the event.

Last year, financial issues appeared to suggest that the Italian Grand Prix could alternate between Monza and Imola, who themselves have a long standing history within F1 with Imola holding their own Grand Prix, hosting the San Marino Grand Prix from 1981 until 2006.

Such a deal would at least guarantee an Italian Grand Prix on the calendar and Ecclestone appeared to back plans for Imola as he was losing patience with Monza, but then President of the Automobile Club of Italy, Angelo Sticchi Damiani claimed in the media that a deal for ‘four or seven years’ had been agreed in January.

But now Ecclestone has again cast doubt on that and has once again pointed to France to show that Formula One is open to departing once historical locations.

‘Monza has got a contract for this year so it is going to go ahead. Next year is the question mark. I don’t think we have to have an Italian Grand Prix. Somebody once told me a funny thing that you couldn’t have Formula 1 without a race in France but we do,’ Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone told a British newspaper over the weekend [and was quoted by Sky Sports].

He’s even made it clear that Formula One has options to drop Italy and yet maintain a 21 race calendar.

‘[Las Vegas] have a contract. Vegas would be super.’

‘We have got 21 races now. It could go more, but I don’t think it will. It’s enough.


 

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