Formula 1

Major Modernisation at Monza and Imola: A New Era for Italian Formula One Racing

The iconic Monza racetrack, along with Imola, is set to undergo major upgrades as part of plans to secure the future of the Italian Grand Prix. This article delves into the transformative changes and the potential extension of the event for an additional five years.

Key Takeaways:

  • Significant Upgrades Planned for Monza Circuit: F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has emphasized the need for modernizing the historic Monza circuit as a key condition for continuing the Italian Grand Prix. The proposed upgrades, including new underpasses and advanced resurfacing techniques, are aimed at enhancing the track’s functionality and safety standards.
  • Negotiations for Extending the Grand Prix: ACI President Angelo Sticchi Damiani has confirmed ongoing advanced talks with Liberty Media. These negotiations are centered around securing a new contract that could extend the Italian Grand Prix and Emilia Romagna Grand Prix for another five years, subject to the finalization of details.
  • Challenges in Modernisation: The upgrades face several hurdles, notably funding and environmental constraints. The Monza track, located in a protected green area, requires meticulous planning and cooperation with various local bodies, demonstrating the complexity and significance of this project.

The Monza racetrack is currently in the throes of a significant transformation aimed at aligning it with the evolving standards of Formula 1. In line with the directives from F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, the renovation includes creating new underpasses and resurfacing the track with innovative materials. These alterations are designed to address both the aesthetic and functional challenges faced during high-profile events like the Grand Prix.

In a recent interview with La Gazzetta Dello Sport, ACI President Angelo Sticchi Damiani revealed that negotiations with Liberty Media to renew the contract post-2025 are in their final stages. This contract renewal is crucial as it aims to secure the future of both the Italian Grand Prix at Monza and the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola for another five years. Damiani noted, “We would like to sign a pre-contract by the end of 2024,” highlighting the urgency and importance of these negotiations.

The modernisation of the Monza circuit is an intricate process, incorporating not just infrastructural enhancements but also environmental considerations. This involves creating distinct pathways for public and vehicle traffic and utilizing cutting-edge materials for the track surface. The project is managed by Invitalia and is scheduled to commence early next year, with completion targeted well before the Grand Prix event.

Further improvements include the refurbishment of the pits and the construction of modernized spectator stands. These developments aim to improve both the functionality and the aesthetic appeal of the circuit, enhancing the overall experience for spectators.

Damiani stressed the significance of securing these races before 2030, considering the global competition for hosting Grand Prix events and the impending FIA presidential election and Concorde Agreement drafting in 2025. He also emphasized the necessity for financial support from governmental and local entities, underlining the substantial economic and cultural value of hosting such prestigious events.

The financial aspects of hosting a Formula 1 Grand Prix are pivotal, as Damiani highlighted. He pointed out that ticket sales alone are insufficient to cover the costs and that government subsidies are often required to support these events worldwide. The aim is to distribute the financial responsibilities among various stakeholders, including the Italian Federation, local governments, and the ACI, to ensure the sustainable hosting of the Grand Prix in Italy.

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