Italian government backs Imola

The British government is likely to face fresh pressure to reconsider its refusal to help save the British Grand Prix after its Italian counterpart had no hesitation in coming forward on Saturday to declare that it will act to safeguard one of its country's races

Italian government backs Imola

As the controversy over whether the British government should step in to help save Silverstone shows no sign of dying down, Italian government officials said they would do all they could to secure the San Marino Grand Prix's long-term future.

Although many had put Imola as favourite to drop from the Formula 1 calendar next season, a promised modernisation of the venue appears to have helped it survive while Britain and France look set to become victims and fall off the schedule.

And in a bid to ensure that there are no doubts about the long-term place of the San Marino Grand Prix on the F1 calendar, Italy's national government has promised to lend its support to any funding needed at the Imola circuit to improve its facilities.

Piero Lunardi, Italy's minister for Transport and Infrastructure, said: "After a period of study about restructuring the race track of Imola with the aim of guaranteeing the permanence of the circuit for F1, the ministry proposes to partially cover the necessary costs of the modernisation."

Italy's stance in safeguarding the event will come as a bitter blow to Silverstone's owner, the British Racing Drivers' Club, which has been told by the British government that there will be no assistance in helping keep the event on the calendar next season.

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has, however, not completely ruled out a scenario in which the British GP could find its way back onto the calendar - but believes it will be necessary for individuals to dig into their own pockets.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 he said: "In the end there was about £3million difference. We agreed with the Minister of Sport Richard Caborn who asked me: 'Bernie can't you help, do something about it'. So we split the difference basically, so there was about £1.5million difference.

"I read that they said the Northampton area was going to lose £30million or £40million if this race went away. I thought they would just have said to the BRDC, 'You're short of £1.5million, we'll put that in because we're still £28m better off'.

"But nobody's done any of those things, nobody wants to give anything, nobody wants to do anything. They expect us to do everything and we have, we have. We've met people halfway because that's what our sports minister asked us to do, and that's what we did."

shares
comments
Renault gear up for grabs
Previous article

Renault gear up for grabs

Next article

Can Jenson do it in Japan?

Can Jenson do it in Japan?
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023
Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons Plus

Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons

OPINION: Williams has moved to replace the departed Jost Capito by appointing former Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles as its new team principal. But while he has sought to play down the idea of moulding his new squad into a vision of his old one, some overlap is only to be expected and perhaps shouldn't be shied away from

Formula 1
Jan 17, 2023