Monza's F1 value goes beyond pure money

F1 bosses need to realise that keeping Monza on the calendar will deliver far more value for the sport than any extra money added to the coffers through an increased race fee, says Sauber's Monisha Kaltenborn.

With the future of Monza after 2016 remaining up in the air, as Bernie Ecclestone chases more money from organisers, there have been growing calls for the F1 supremo not to drop the event.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel was full of emotion after the Italian GP when he suggested it would be bad for drivers if Monza was lost.

"If we take this [race] away from the calendar for any shitty money reasons, then you are basically ripping our hearts out," he said.

Money obsession

Kaltenborn believes that F1 has to wake up the fact that chasing maximum profits is not necessarily the right thing to do.

"The value is simply not a financial one, and that is why this need to have more and more finances has to stop," Kaltenborn told Motorsport.com.

"Everything is being dictated by money and we have been saying that for so long. Today it is Monza and for me it is just a matter of time before it is Monaco – and what then?

"Everyone says they want a heritage race, everyone wants Monaco, and a little while ago we had the so-called heritage races protected.

"But Germany is gone, you hear Monza struggling, you hear Spa struggling. And Monaco we know what the situation is. It has to stop. It really has to stop."

Fans demand heritage races

Formula 1 fans who responded to the GPDA Global Fan Survey earlier this year made it clear that the traditional races remained hugely important.

When asked to single out the races that they considered essential for the calendar, the highest ranked races were Monaco (75 per cent), Italy (71 per cent), Britain (68 per cent), Belgium (66 per cent) and Germany (65 per cent).

Among avid fans, the figures increased with 79 per cent backing Monaco and 78 per cent supporting Italy.

Balancing act

Red Bull boss Christian Horner hopes that Monza does stay on the schedule, but thinks that the danger is that if Italian organisers get a cheap deal then it could lead to a collapse in other race hosting fees.

"Bernie is the most ruthless negotiator in the paddock, which is why he has done such a great job for F1," explained Horner.

"The problem is if he lowers the barrier for one circuit, then I guess he is going to have all the others banging on his door as well. So he has to maintain a position.

"As we all know with Bernie, he doesn't mess around with threats. He doesn't make a threat unless he is prepared to carry it out.

"Hopefully, a solution can be found that the Italian GP is on the calendar for years to come."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Italian GP
Track Monza
Teams Sauber
Article type Breaking news