Formula One’s Italian Grand Prix will remain at Monza for the next three years after formal confirmation of a new race deal for the historic circuit.
This year’s Italian GP was staged in September and during the event it was announced that Monza had agreed a deal for the race to remain at the circuit until at least 2019. F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone and Angelo Sticchi Damiani, the president of Italian motorsport’s governing body, the Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI), announced the news of the three-year deal but Ecclestone admitted at the time that a formal contract had yet to be signed.
This process was complicated further after Imola, the Emilia-Romagna town where the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari is based, had taken legal action in the belief the ACI’s decision to award government backing to Monza was not legitimate. However, this action was ultimately dropped paving the way for Ecclestone and Sticchi Damiani to formally sign off on the fresh deal ahead of a meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) when the 2017 F1 calendar is expected to be finalised.
Sticchi Damiani said: “On behalf of Italian sport I’d like to thank Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and CONI (Italian Olympic Committee) president (Giovanni) Malagò who a year ago believed in this goal and created the conditions to achieve together this important result.
“We also owe a special thanks to Governor (Roberto) Maroni and the whole council of Lombardy for supporting, in a decisive manner, these negotiations. We therefore avoided the hypothesis that, after 70 years, Italy could lose one of the most prestigious, historic and fascinating automobile races in the world. Now we will move forward together with the goal of making the grand prix in Monza, in the coming years, an even more important event, able to fascinate and attract more and more enthusiasts worldwide.”
Malagò also hailed the deal as a “win” for Italian sport and proof of the benefits of working together and teaming up to achieve a common goal. Monza has staged every edition of Italy’s round of the F1 world championship since the series’ formation in 1950, with the exception of the 1980 event, which was held at Imola. This year’s event was the final one under Monza’s previous contract.