Government breakthrough set to save F1 at Monza

An imminent move by the Italian government looks set to save the Italian Grand Prix, following months of uncertainty about the future of Formula 1 at Monza.

Bernie Ecclestone and Italian GP chiefs have been a loggerheads for months about putting together a deal to keep the event at Monza beyond its current contract, which runs out after 2016.

Talks at the Monaco Grand Prix with Italian motorsport representatives, plus a get-together between Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi and Ecclestone at this year's Monza's race, did not appear to have delivered a much-needed breakthrough.

However, that appears to have now finally materialised in a proposal to change where the financing for a new deal for Monza can come from.

Previously, the Automobile Club of Italy had been unable to fund any shortfall in finances itself because of limitations laid down by the government.

However, the 'Camera's Budget Committee has written an amendment to Article 183 of its Stability Law, which will allow the ACI to help fund the Italian GP race hosting fee.

There had previously been a limitation on how the ACI could use its resources because some of its income came from road licencing activities, and it was unclear how much was actually coming from the sporting side.

It is hoped that the change in law, which could be approved before Christmas, will pave the way for a new Italian GP deal that could be as long as seven years.

Angelo Sticchi Damiani, president of the ACI, believed the slight tweak in the statutes was a big help.

"This statute prevented us from intervening to save Monza," he was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport.

"We had problems distinguishing income from sport and other activities. This change has been decisive and so the most important work is now done."

Additional reporting by Franco Nugnes

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