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Monza secures F1 race extension, lands DTM event

The Italian Grand Prix has secured its long-term future on the Formula One calendar through a five-year contract extension, while the Monza circuit has also landed a race deal with the DTM German touring car series.

The agreement between Formula One and the Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI), which runs from 2020 to 2024, was announced on Wednesday evening during a public event held in Milan to celebrate the 90th edition of the Italian GP and the 90th anniversary of the Scuderia Ferrari team.

The Italian Grand Prix has been on the motor-racing series’ calendar since 1950, the year the World Championship was formed, and the race has been held at Monza every year, with the exception of the 1980 event, which was run at Imola.

However, heading into this weekend’s Italian GP the future of the race was still uncertain. Formula One last week revealed a provisional 2020 calendar featuring a record 22 races, including the Italian Grand Prix, subject to contract, but omitting the German Grand Prix.

Formula One entered its 2019 season with five races out of contract following this year’s events. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya extended its deal for the Spanish Grand Prix last week, while Mexico City did likewise last month and it was announced in July that Silverstone will continue to host the British Grand Prix until 2024.

In April, the ACI, Italian motorsport’s governing body, said it had reached an agreement in principle for a five-year extension to its race deal, leading to yesterday’s announcement. Angelo Sticchi Damiani, president of the ACI, said: “This is a great outcome for ACI, for Monza, for the Lombardy Region and Italian sport in general, which opens up a five-year perspective to build a future that matches the legendary past that has made Monza a world capital of motorsport.

“It was a challenging journey to get to this outcome and is one of those race victories that makes us forget every risk, every effort, and leaves inside a great joy and an uncontrollable desire to celebrate.”

Chase Carey, chairman and chief executive of Formula One, added: “History, speed and passion are words that motorsport fans associate with Monza. The feeling one gets at this grand prix is truly unique, as is the circuit’s distinctive podium.

“I would like to thank the ACI, especially its president, Angelo Sticchi Damiani for its efforts and this five year deal means that another part of the jigsaw for the Formula One of the future, is now in place. The championship features many historic venues such as Monza and also new countries in which the already vast fan-base of our sport can grow.”

Meanwhile, the DTM has reached an agreement with the management of the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza to hold a round of the 2020 series at the racetrack. The addition of Monza will make it the fourth Italian venue to host a round of the DTM.

The series staged races at Mugello between 1994 and 1996, and then again in 2007 and 2008. It visited Adria Raceway in 2003, 2004 and 2010, Most recently, it made a comeback at Misano’s World Circuit Marco Simoncelli during the past two seasons, with Misano expected to make way for Monza’s entry.

Achim Kostron, managing director of DTM’s umbrella organisation ITR, said: “For our three key automotive brands – Aston Martin, Audi and BMW – Italy is a hugely important market. We’re grateful to everyone at Misano for having been a fantastic partner during DTM’s return to Italy over the past two years. For our next step, we want to further increase awareness of DTM in Italy; racing at the country’s most famous racetrack, combined with the surrounding Milan metropolitan area, will help us achieve that.”

The precise date of the Monza DTM race weekend, along with the full schedule for next year’s DTM series, will be announced in October.

Pietro Benvenuti, general manager of Autodromo Nazionale Monza, added: “These races, backed by an important organisation, will allow us to further develop the potential of our circuit. We plan to create an event for the audience not solely limited to motorsport, but something that will involve fans in an unprecedented experience.”