Monza secures new three-year F1 deal to host Italian Grand Prix

Monza has secured a new three-year deal to host Formula 1's Italian Grand Prix, although the contract has yet to be signed

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and Automobile Club d'Italia president Angelo Sticchi Damiani made the announcement on Friday afternoon.

Ecclestone said: "Regretfully we cannot sign it here legally.

"More importantly we have reached an agreement after a few months of negotiations between the lawyers.

"We are going through all the small details together and we will sign this back in England.

"The contract is only for three years, but I hope we will be here for another 100."

When the contract is signed, it will guarantee the race will be on the calendar through to 2019.

It draws to a close a long-running saga that left the future of the circuit in doubt, with Ecclestone expressing pessimism over the prospect of a deal to Autosport a year ago at this venue.

Until recently that impasse had remained, which led to Ecclestone going so far as to agree a deal with Imola in a bid to keep F1 in Italy.

Sticchi Damiani, however, managed to draw together the various political factions that oversee Monza - the region of Lombardy, the cities of Milan and Monza, and the Park Authority - to ensure the money could be found.

Despite Imola throwing its hat into the ring, Sticchi Damiani has always been in favour of the grand prix remaining at Monza, which has staged the race every year since F1's inception in 1950 bar 1980, when Imola played host.

Though the possibility of a legal challenge from Imola has been mooted, Sticchi Damiani waved his hand in a dismissive gesture when that was put to him.

He said: "We had a mandate from parliament, and I was given a mandate by my organisation, the ACI, to ensure Formula 1 stays at Monza.

"I am an executor of what parliament and my organisation have asked me to do."

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