Gian Carlo Minardi, former Formula One team owner: "Italian GP like Olympics, Football and Swimming world championships. It's a national event"
These are difficult days for Motorsport in the Old Country. Emerging countries are making their way quickly and so, after losing France in the last few years, this year it is the turn of Germany, which will have its Formula 1 Grand Prix. Hockenheim and Nurburgring stand aside. “We are talking about circuits that are part of a nation at the height of motor racing, not only sportingly speaking. However, they will not have a Grand Prix. This should make us think about”, Gian Carlo Minardi says.
Unfortunately, also in Italy could occur the same shortly? In 2016 the agreement between FOA and Monza will expire. The Italian Grand Prix is at great risk. At this time, Monza track, the Temple of Speed, is called an effort on two fronts: the renewal of its structures, to adapt to the needs of the two and four wheels, and finding all necessary resources (22-24 million euro) to prolong the agreement with Mr. Ecclestone. “So far, Monza has enjoyed privileged treatment compared to the average of the European and non-European countries”, the manager from Faenza says. With the current contracts, the only source of income for the event organizer comes from ticket sales. “Royalties and logistics depend on FOA. Too little to survive and cover all costs”. Minardi, however, focuses the attention to an important aspect.
Monza, along with Silverstone and Monte Carlo, is Formula 1
Gian Carlo Minardi
“In seven/ten days, a Formula 1 Grand Prix moves, in areas where it takes place, a turnover amounting to 100-120 million dollars, reaching hundreds of millions of people per event, through television and newspapers around the world” - staggering numbers – “that only the Olympics and various World Championships can reach, but every four years. Formula 1 represents a real economic benefit for state assets. Precisely for this reason, Formula 1 must be treated as World Swimming Championships, the Olympics or World Football Championships, events in which not only the Sports Federation but also the Government can intervene. Do not forget that Italy has the Number One cultural heritage in the world, which is envied by all. Therefore, we should use Formula 1 as a magnet to attract tourists, studying holiday packages, Pre and Post GPs, with worldwide tour operators. Besides, we are talking about a city which is easily accessible by plane and high-speed trains”.
The policy implemented by emerging nations, like Malaysia, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Russia and so on, is going in this direction. “They bet on Formula 1 to grow tourism, commercial and industrial sectors. Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur were the first among the new entries in recent years. Petronas itself has taken advantage of Motorsport’s image to become a global giant. The same holds true for cities like Imola or, going back several years, Adelaide. Before F1, who knew them?“
Do not forget that Motorsport is not just a élite Sport. Behind every car, there are millions of jobs in the world and certainly hundreds of thousands in our country. An income that generates a quite relevant turnover. “This is the reason why I want to wish the President of Milan Automobile Club, Ivan Capelli, good luck for the start of negotiations with Bernie Ecclestone and our ACI President Sticchi Damiani, who cares about the existence of Italian Grand Prix and Monza’s safeguard. He will make every effort to find the right funds and agreements”. Gian Carlo Minardi concludes: “Monza, along with Silverstone and Monte Carlo, is Formula 1“.