Imola signs agreement with Ecclestone for Italian GP

The Imola management has signed an agreement with Bernie Ecclestone to run the Italian GP from 2017, but the plans can only go ahead if the country's national sporting authority gives its approval.

Imola signs agreement with Ecclestone for Italian GP
Tiago Monteiro
David Coulthard
Bernie Ecclestone
Christian Klien and Scott Speed
Nico Rosberg
Bernie Ecclestone,

However, Automobile Club d'Italia president Angelo Sticchi Damiani has continued to support Monza's case, despite the venue's financial problems.

While Imola has signed its side of the deal, Ecclestone can't do so until the ACI formally approves the switch.

Representatives of Imola were at the British GP to meet with Ecclestone and further their case to hold the race.

One possible scenario could be an alternating deal, in the same way that Hockenheim and the Nurburgring shared the German GP, although Imola – which hosted the Italian GP on one previous occasion in 1980 – is also happy to go it alone.

"Bernie knows that we are available," Formula Imola president Uberto Selvatico Estense told Motorsport.com.

"And he sent us a proposal that we signed and sent back to him. We will be very happy to have F1 back in Imola. Our main effort is to achieve this kind of result.

"It just depends on Angelo Sticchi Damiani. I think it's a political issue. We have an agreement with Bernie, and we only need the approval of the national sporting authority. If in the future there is not an Italian GP, it is only the problem of Mr Sticchi Damiani, who didn't allow this agreement."

Selvatico Estense says Imola also has the backing of the regional government: "Stefano Bonaccini, the president of the region Emilia-Romagna, is supporting us.

"He is a very pragmatic man and he said if you have the contract, Bernie is happy and the national sporting authority approves this agreement, we support you."

Imola is keen to have an answer so that it can get on with preparations.

"I think we don't have too much time to decide. We are going on with the work, also without an answer from Mr Sticchi Damaini.

"I think we have until December, maximum. I think it's the limit, but the best thing will be before so we have one year to promote the race."

Selvatico Estense insists that Imola is in good financial health, and says that the venue continues to be upgraded in preparation for the possible return of F1 for the first time since the 2006 San Marino GP.

"We restructured the company several years ago, and now we're running the company in a good position. We are in a good status. We closed the last three balance sheets positive, with a good result, so we think we are in a strong position to ask for the GP.

"We think that in Imola we can have a great success with spectators. We are building up new facilities, we are building up a new press room, we are completing the project of Hermann Tilke that began in 2006. Right now we are moving the medical centre and building up a new one. We are doing a lot."

 

 

shares
comments
F1 tech explained: Paddy Lowe on the mysteries of the F1 steering wheel

Previous article

F1 tech explained: Paddy Lowe on the mysteries of the F1 steering wheel

Next article

Analysis: Hungaroring track changes put lap records in sight

Analysis: Hungaroring track changes put lap records in sight
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Adam Cooper
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Prime

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The themes to watch in F1's Imola return Prime

The themes to watch in F1's Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021