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?
Load comments
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. On the 50th anniversary of his death, Autosport recalls the career of an F1 and sportscar ace gone before his time

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021