Rome GP 'letter of intent' expires in 2010 - mayor

It has emerged that Rome's agreement about a city-based Formula One race in 2012 or 2013 could lapse at the end of the year. It was reported last month that organisers of the proposed event to take place in the Italian capital's EUR district had...

It has emerged that Rome's agreement about a city-based Formula One race in 2012 or 2013 could lapse at the end of the year.

It was reported last month that organisers of the proposed event to take place in the Italian capital's EUR district had signed a five-year contract with Bernie Ecclestone.

It was said that the only hurdle was the support of the residents of EUR, a major suburban area and business centre.

But Italian media reports late this week, including by the authoritative broadcaster Rai and the major news agency ANSA, have revealed that the document signed at Monza last month was just a "lettera di intenti" (letter of intent).

And Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno is quoted as saying that the original project as devised by the race promoter has lapsed because it would have been too disruptive.

He said a new project will be presented to the Rome authority assemblea capitolina before the letter of intent runs out later this year.

"I will soon meet with Ecclestone to confirm the letter of intent that has been signed and never revoked," added mayor Alemanno.

He said the original EUR plan was too disruptive. "If someone thinks I want to make a mess of the EUR, they are making a big mistake.

"Rather, we want to enrich the city's image," Alemanno is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Research shows that the majority of Rome residents, although not an overwhelming one, are in favour.

"But the assemblea capitolina will have the last word" after "very careful scrutiny", he added.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone