Ferrari Failure Hits Monza Ticket Sales

Italian Grand Prix organisers fear Ferrari's poor form is having an impact on ticket sales for Sunday's Formula One race at Monza

Ferrari Failure Hits Monza Ticket Sales

"Ticket sales are down on previous years and this is troubling us," Milan Automobile Club president Ludovico Grandi told reporters on Tuesday.

"On the one hand costs are going up and on the other the returns are going down while the competition is growing from emerging countries, as Turkey, China and Bahrain have demonstrated."

Enrico Ferrari, director of the Monza circuit, said ticket sales were down 15 percent on last year despite prices being reduced, although the organisers hoped for an improvement leading up to the weekend.

Some 117,000 spectators turned up for last year's race, won by Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello after the Italian team had already won the Constructors' Championship and Michael Schumacher the drivers' crown.

The circuit's record attendance was 160,532 in 2000, the year that Schumacher became the first Ferrari driver in 21 years to win the Championship.

Crowd figures for last week's testing at Monza were just over 30,000, half last year's levels.

Organisers said Ferrari's fortunes and the fact that this year's race is a week earlier than previously were both factors.

After winning 15 of last year's 18 races, the champions have had just one hollow victory this year in a six-car US Grand Prix blighted by the withdrawal of all the Michelin-equipped teams due to tyre safety fears.

Schumacher, whose hopes of an eighth title disappeared some time ago even if he remains mathematically in contention, failed to finish the last Turkish Grand Prix on August 21 while Barrichello was 10th.

Ferrari are third in the Constructors' Championship, 44 points adrift of leaders Renault with five races remaining. 

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