Monza Alarmed by Poor Attendance

Poor attendance figures at last weekend's Italian Grand Prix have been blamed on a mixture of Ferrari's poor form and fans' indifference to new regulations this year

Monza Alarmed by Poor Attendance

That is the view of Enrico Ferrari, the director of the Monza circuit, who has expressed his concern at the dramatic fall in ticket sales for last weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

"The situation is alarming," he told Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday. "Our first information shows that we've only had 93,000 spectators compared to last year's 117,000, so it's a 30 percent drop. In particular, it's Italians that came less.

"It's different reasons: Ferrari's crisis, the regulations, the date, and the difficult economic situation which restrained companies' investments."

When asked whether Monza needed a charismatic figure in the sport like Valentino Rossi to help bolster attendances, Ferrari said he was skeptical: "Someone like Valentino Rossi? You'd need at least two of them. Instead we only have robots, who have no appeal among the fans."

In particular, Ferrari believes that Formula One bosses need to have a major rethink about the structure of race weekends - because the current qualifying format is not working as a spectacle.

It is rumoured that Bernie Ecclestone is soon going to meet with race organisers to discuss the situation - although Ferrari doubts much progress can be made without the support of the teams.

"To change the regulations you need everyone's agreement, including the teams, and to me it doesn't look like there is the intention to change," he added.

"Saturdays need to be revived by sending everyone on track - maybe by having two 25-minute qualifying sessions with the aggregate of the two best lap times.

"It would be nice to have an American-style system: everybody goes in and every fifteen minutes the holders of the five worst lap times get excluded. At the end, the last ten on track go for the pole position."

Ferrari ruled out reducing ticket prices for Monza next year in a bid to get fans to return - having cut the costs of attendance this year.

"It's hard to do more than this," added Ferrari.

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