Imola confident of future

Reports this week indicate that the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola has secured a deal to stay on the Formula One calendar for another five years. When the initial 2005 schedule was released, Imola was listed only as provisional but it seems that...

Reports this week indicate that the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola has secured a deal to stay on the Formula One calendar for another five years. When the initial 2005 schedule was released, Imola was listed only as provisional but it seems that the contractual conditions have been met.

Officials met with Bernie Ecclestone on Monday and were confident of a favourable outcome. "During our meeting a deal was struck to stage the races through 2009 and this gives a major boost to our motor racing tradition," said Imola's mayor Massimo Marcignoli, according to ANSA news.

Like Silverstone, which is also provisional on the calendar, Ecclestone has previously said that Imola is need of upgrading. New countries joining F1 have put the older tracks under threat; Bahrain and China were new to the 2004 calendar and Turkey will make its debut next season.

The 2005 calendar, due to be finalised in early December, has Imola provisionally listed for April 24th. It appears that the agreement to stage the race for a further five years is currently only verbal, but the circuit management believes it is valid.

Meanwhile, it was has been rather quiet on the Silverstone front of late. Nine of the teams agreeing to 19 races in 2005 paved the way for the British GP to go ahead, but a deal has yet to be struck between the British Racing Drivers' Club and Bernie Ecclestone.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone