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F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone pessimistic over Italian GP and Monza

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is not anticipating the latest round of talks with Monza and Italian Grand Prix officials this weekend to yield a positive outcome

The future of the fabled race at Monza is currently up in the air as its contract is due to expire after next year's event, and with negotiations that have been ongoing for more than two years failing to find a resolution.

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It is understood there is currently a €10million difference in opinion, with Ecclestone seeking €25million per year compared to the €15million being offered.

The F1 commercial chief is adamant Monza must pay the same going rate as other European events.

"This has been going on for two and a half years, and it's up to them to make up their mind," Ecclestone told AUTOSPORT.

"The bottom line is we've got something to sell and they have to decide whether they want to buy it.

"The price we are asking for is the same as the other people in Europe are paying.

"It shouldn't be a drama, but they haven't been able to make it work, probably for lots of reasons."

Asked whether he felt a deal was unlikely, Ecclestone said: "At the moment I'd probably say yes, based on the fact they don't want to pay.

"They had a very good deal which went back years before and they'd like to continue, but maybe it doesn't suit certain people.

"Maybe something they've enjoyed in the past they won't be enjoying [in the future]."

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This week even Italian Premier Matteo Renzi waded into the debate by warning: "Leave Monza alone! That's what we're going to tell Ecclestone."

Speaking to Italian radio station RTL, Renzi added: "Formula 1 doesn't rely solely on money. It's also about history."

Monza has been on the F1 calendar every year bar one since the inaugural world championship in 1950.

When asked if he agreed it would be a significant loss to F1, Ecclestone replied: "Yes, of course.

"The trouble is we made a deal two and a half years ago, with the usual shaking of hands and everybody saying everything is wonderful and fine, contracts were going to come later in the month, but nothing happened.

"Now, we'll have to wait and see."

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