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Official: Italian F1 Grand Prix at Monza safe for 3 more years

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Official: Italian F1 Grand Prix at Monza safe for 3 more years
Sep 2, 2016, 2:23 PM

Bernie Ecclestone today announced that a new deal has been agreed for Monza to host the Italian Grand Prix for three more years.

Bernie Ecclestone today announced that a new deal has been agreed for Monza to host the Italian Grand Prix for three more years. He was flanked by FIA president Jean Todt and Italian federation president Angelo Sticchi Damiani.

Damiani has moved heaven and earth to make this deal happen and has strenuously resisted efforts to switch the race to Imola. It's an important coup for the region of Lombardy, to retain the race over the aggressive challenge from Emila Romagna and €20m of Lombardy's budget has been channeled into this deal, some of which will be used for infrastructure around the Monza track.

The losing side have complained that this amounts to "State Aid", which is illegal under EU law and which is at the centre of the row over Apple's unpaid taxes in Republic of Ireland.

Monza crowd

The new Monza deal is substantially more expensive than the old one; an additional €17m over three years, taking it to €68m for the total deal, which is why it's only a three year deal and why the matter has been so drawn out and come close to failing so many times. Ecclestone has used all his armoury of tactics to get the deal he was looking for.

The idea had been to sign the contract and for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to drop in today to give it his blessing, having played a role in the renewal. However, the announcement was more low key, the deal not having been actually inked yet.

"Regretfully legally we can't sign it here - but more important is that we have an agreement thanks to our lawyers and we are getting all the small details sorted," said Ecclestone.

"There is no problem in having the race here. The contract will be for three years but I hope we are here for 100 years."
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