Monza's Formula 1 future hangs in the balance after meetings between track chiefs and Bernie Ecclestone failed to make progress in reaching a new deal.
Ecclestone met with Angelo Sticchi Damiani, the president of the Italian motorsport federation (ACI CSAI), in Monaco on Friday to discuss a host of matters – including the Italian Grand Prix.
But with Monza chiefs still unable to come up with the race fee hike that Ecclestone is demanding for a new contract after 2016, discussions appear to have stalled.
And until the finances are in place, it is unlikely that negotiations will be able to resume.
When asked if it was a green or red light for the Italian GP after the meeting, Damiani told Motorsport.com: “There is no light at the moment.”
Pushed on if there was a deadline to find the money, he said: “If we can find the money, then time is not a problem. But it is better to find a solution.”
Situation not improved
Former grand prix driver Ivan Capelli, who as president of the Automobile Club of Milan is involved in trying to help save the race, admitted the situation had not moved forward as had been hoped.
“We are working hard every single day to find the possibility to propose the right deal for Bernie,” he said. “We need obviously to create the right proposal for Bernie.”
When asked how important it was now for Monza to try to seek the extra finance itself, he said: “At the moment, it is critical.”
Government finance may be key
Monza's hopes may now rest on the Italian national government stepping forward and helping fund any shortfall in funding – believed to be around 10 million Euros.
The track has been able to secure around 20 million Euros of investment from the Lombardy regional government, but this can only be spent on infrastructure rather than race-sanctioning fees.
Capelli said: “It is not money that will be used to confirm the contract with Bernie, but to reorganise the circuit, the area around it and the golf club. It is money that must be shared in different kinds of worlds.”
Mugello not considered yet
Damiani said his priority was to save the Monza race, and not consider alternative options such as Mugello.
“If we make good work then we will likely have a grand prix at Monza,” he said. “The other option only comes up if we make bad work, but I think it is possible to have a future there.”
Additional reporting by Franco Nugnes