Fall in Monza ticket sales puts new pressure on Italian Grand Prix

A fall in Italian Grand Prix ticket sales has left the country's motorsport president worried it may not be able to afford to keep the Formula 1 race beyond 2019

Fall in Monza ticket sales puts new pressure on Italian Grand Prix

Monza's deal to host the Italian GP runs out after next year's race, and there were fraught negotiations back in 2016 to put together the current short-term arrangement.

But a decline in ticket sales for next month's race, despite home team Ferrari's strong season, has raised fresh concerns about the future of the grand prix.

Angelo Sticchi Damiani, the president of the Automobile Club d'Italia, is worried that the money situation is unsustainable unless the rights fee paid to F1 is reduced.

"We closed last year's race with a strong loss, and the 2018 budget will not be different either," he told Gazzetto 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."

Damiami hopes Monza's cause will be helped by Ferrari having a strong end to the 2018 season.

Sebastian Vettel is currently 24 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' championship, with Ferrari 10 shy of Mercedes in the constructors'.

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

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

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