Rome set to abandon Grand Prix plans

By on Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bernie Ecclestone & Luca di Montizemolo have made noises about F1 sticking to one Italian event - Monza.

(GMM) Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno has announced the city is taking “a step back” with its plans for a formula one race on the streets of the EUR district.

Although formerly supportive of the plans, Bernie Ecclestone last week wrote to Alemanno warning that with Monza already on the calendar, F1 had no room for two Italian rounds per season.

That was interpreted as the start of negotiations to annually alternate Rome and Monza, but Alemanno has announced that Rome should now turn most of its focus towards bidding for the 2020 Olympics.

“The road has not been completely closed, but the interests of our city must be compatible with the national ones,” La Repubblica newspaper quotes him as saying.

Regarding F1, Rome will “take a step back”, Alemanno added, revealing that there “will be a press conference in the coming days”.

He called on the government to now make a “stronger commitment regarding the 2020 Olympics”, insisting that the event “as a target for Rome is not just ambitious but achievable”.

Alemanno suggested that talks about a cooperation between Rome and Monza regarding F1 did not bear fruit.

“We have always maintained contact with the mayor of Monza, with the ministers of the north and all those of the Lombardy region.

“I have to say that we never found a great dialogue, even when we stressed that if it was a choice between Monza and Rome then we would pull back,” he said.

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