Former driver Ivan Capelli behind plan to save Monza F1 race

Former Formula 1 driver Ivan Capelli is behind a fresh push to keep the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, following Bernie Ecclestone's threat to drop the race

Former driver Ivan Capelli behind plan to save Monza F1 race

Ecclestone caused outrage among fans and drivers earlier this month when he said he wanted to drop Monza for 2016 because it did not make commercial sense for F1 anymore.

Capelli, who raced in 98 grands prix between 1985 and 1993, has just won election to the board of directors of the Automobile Club of Milan - the organisation which effectively manages the Monza circuit.

Ahead of the first official meeting next week to discuss the future of the Italian GP, Capelli is now ramping up efforts to put in place a deal that works for Ecclestone - as well as deliver improvements for Monza.

Furthermore, Capelli is also hoping that he can encourage former Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali, who lives in Monza, to help him in his efforts.

Speaking to AUTOSPORT about the new effort to keep Monza on the calendar, Capelli said: "I read in the newspapers that Bernie was not happy about the commercial agreement that he had before.

"I didn't have any opportunity until now to have a chat with him, but I suppose in the next few weeks there will probably be an opportunity to exchange some ideas with him.

"Plus next week, there will be the first official meeting about that, and obviously we are keen to continue with what we have done until now.

"Monza is historically one of the oldest grands prix and we would like to continue after 2015, knowing that Bernie is always pushing everybody in his direction."

MONZA MUST IMPROVE FACILITIES

Capelli is open to the idea of investment being allocated to improve Monza's pit and spectator facilities.

"I think that Monza needs to do a step forward because it is not possible that Monza lives as it does," he said.

"It must produce something to improve its situation. I think that for the teams, the garages are average for F1 now. We also have to do a lot for the spectators, that is one of the objectives."

When asked about the chances of Domenicali coming on board, Capelli said: "Obviously, Stefano is a very important resource of experience, of skills, and I would like to use Stefano in the future to deal, or to help us to deal, with Bernie."

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