During the FP2 session for the Italian GP this afternoon, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed a three-year extension of Monza’s deal to host the Italian Grand Prix and that the historic race remains on the calendar until at least 2019.
The future of the race had been in doubt after drawn-out negotiations between Ecclestone and the president of Italy’s motorsport federation Angelo Sticchi Damiani this year. It is the first time the Automobile Club d’Italia had taken charge of negotiations with Ecclestone and they were made to sweat as the F1 CEO threatened to move the race to Imola or drop it completely.
However, the ACI stood firm and insisted that the race would be held at Monza or no other circuit at all. This then lead to the three-year extension that was announced on Friday.
Speaking during a press conference on Friday afternoon, Ecclestone said the contract was in the process of being drawn up but the deal had been done. Ecclestone said the following:-
‘We’re getting all the small details that are important in a contract together and we’ll sign it. So there’s no problem with having a race here at all. It will be here. The contract is only going to be for three years but hopefully we’re here for another hundred years.’
The Italian Grand Prix has been on the calendar since 1950 and has taken place at Monza every year with exception of the 1980 event, which was held at Imola.