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Italian GP under financial threat

Italian GP under financial threat

News


Italian GP under financial threat

Italian GP under financial threat

The Italian Grand Prix could become the next Formula 1 race to be threatened with dropping off the calendar, with race organisers fearful over the impact of falling ticket sales. Television viewership in Italy is also on the decline, it has been revealed, as a result of a move to pay-TV channels.

Historic races like the British, German and Brazilian Grands Prix have all encountered financial problems in recent years.

Silverstone's owners have cancelled their F1 contract from 2019, while there is no agreement in place for a future race in Germany - although it is hoped that Hockenheim can be salvaged for a 2019 event.

Monza has hosted 67 F1 races in its history - more than any other circuit - but the long-term prospects of the race's inclusion on the F1 calendar may not be so secure.

"We closed last year's race with a strong loss, and the 2018 budget will not be different either," Automobile Club d'Italia president Angelo Sticchi Damiani told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"It is clear that such a situation is not sustainable in the long term. The ACI is ready to do its part, but not under any conditions.

"[Chase] Carey has always told me that an F1 without Monza is unthinkable, and in four years it will celebrate its centenary. We agree on that, but we must also deal in facts."

Sticchi Damiani understandably hopes that Sebastian Vettel can deliver a Ferrari win on home turf this year - a result that could attract fans back to the event as the Scuderia continue to push Mercedes closer in 2018.

"A year ago Vettel had gone on holiday as the world [championship] leader, now he is in the role of pursuer," he added.

"My wish is the exact opposite of what happened a year ago, when from Monza onwards Mercedes took off."

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