F1 set to make call on whether Italy can keep two grands prix

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali plans to make a decision soon on whether or not Italy can continue to host two grands prix each year.

Monza start-finish line

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola and the Italian Grand Prix at Monza both have contracts that run until the 2025 season, but beyond that, there are no guarantees for either. 

And amid growing competition from around the world for the right to host races, and suggestions other European races like Spa-Francorchamps and Zandvoort may have to rotate, the chances of Italy continuing to double up appear remote. 

Speaking ahead of the Italian GP, Domenicali said the topic of Monza and Imola's long-term prospects would be evaluated imminently.

“There is one issue that will be addressed in the short term, and that is to understand the future of Formula 1 in Italy,” he said.

“We will have to understand if there are the resources to be able to keep two grands prix on the calendar, or if we will focus on just one.

“I want to thank Imola, because the organisers were ready to take a chance in a difficult moment like COVID, confirming that they lived up to the commitment made.”

Monza is to begin work this autumn on upgrading facilities ahead of next year’s race in a bid to satisfy demands laid down by F1 chiefs. It is understood this will include bigger tunnels under the track, improved hospitality facilities and better grandstand areas. 

Curva Parabolica, Monza

Curva Parabolica, Monza

Photo by: Erik Junius

Domenicali said that such improvements were important because he wanted to see Monza keeping up with standards expected elsewhere. 

“They have confirmed to me that the necessary renovation work on the facility will begin after the end of the grand prix,” he said. 

“It's an important step because next year it's necessary to give a signal of improvement. 

“The historical value of Monza is beyond question, but we also need to keep up with the times in terms of services, which must be in line with the prices paid by those who come to the race track. Within the next year, we will have clear ideas about the future.”

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Domenicali added that the spectator experience was a key aspect for him, as he pointed out the effort that venues like Zandvoort had made. 

“There are countries that have made huge investments, building infrastructure in line with their financial possibilities,” he explained. 

“But there are also other aspects that weigh on the evaluation of an event, and I think that in terms of entertainment what we saw last weekend in Zandvoort is a very good example. The way the audience was entertained was incredible."

Additional reporting by Roberto Chinchero 

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