Formula 1

Monza Circuit Urged to Initiate Overdue Upgrades: F1 CEO Domenicali’s Constructive Pressure as Contract Renewal Nears

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has been emphatically urging Monza circuit authorities to commence long-overdue upgrades. His insistence comes as the historic circuit approaches a contract renewal, critical for its continued presence on the F1 calendar.

Key Takeaways:

  • Contract Negotiations: Stefano Domenicali confirmed ongoing discussions for extending the Monza and Imola circuits’ contracts. This follows Angelo Sticchi Damiani’s revelation of finalized terms for hosting the Grand Prix at both Italian tracks.
  • Upgrade Delays: Despite the potential contract extension, Domenicali emphasized the urgency of beginning the scheduled upgrade work at Monza, which was initially planned to start post-Grand Prix in September but has been delayed.
  • Investment and Management Concerns: Domenicali expressed concerns about internal bureaucracies hindering project progress. He highlighted the necessity for Italy to invest in F1 as a platform for sport, promotion, and business, emphasizing that Formula 1 can’t solely rely on private management.

The illustrious Monza circuit, a cornerstone in the Formula 1 world, finds itself at a crucial juncture as its contract expiry looms. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has been exerting considerable pressure on the Monza circuit authorities, urging them to kickstart the much-needed upgrade work that has been pending for far too long.

Following last month’s announcement by Angelo Sticchi Damiani, head of the Italian Grand Prix, about the finalization of terms for hosting the Grand Prix at both Monza and Imola, Domenicali confirmed the ongoing talks regarding the extension of these contracts. This development is a positive indicator for the future of these historic Italian circuits in the F1 calendar.

However, the crux of the issue lies in the delayed upgrade work at Monza. Despite the anticipation of a contract renewal, Domenicali has been vocal about the necessity for Monza to prioritize its scheduled upgrades. The CEO’s concerns are not just about maintaining the circuit’s standards but also about the broader implications for F1’s presence in Italy.

In a candid interview with Rai, Domenicali expressed his views clearly, “We are indeed negotiating with Monza and Imola about a possible contract extension. I am in good contact with the motorsport federation in Italy, but the work at Monza was supposed to start after the Grand Prix and still hasn’t started in December. It should now start in the near future.”

His words reflect a constructive yet firm approach towards ensuring the upgrades take place. Domenicali further commented on the internal challenges, stating, “My pressure is constructive, but internal bureaucracies should not be able to stop certain projects.” This statement underscores the ongoing struggle between the need for progress and the hurdles posed by administrative processes.

Domenicali also shed light on the broader perspective of F1’s role in Italy, emphasizing the importance of the country’s willingness to invest in the sport. He remarked, “We have to move with the times. In 2020 Imola was given an extraordinary opportunity and they were ready for it. This year, unfortunately, we couldn’t race there because of the floods. We are looking forward to racing there again next year, but you also have to understand that we cannot invest more privately. It’s all about understanding our country’s willingness to invest in F1 as a sporting, promotional and business platform, because Formula 1 can no longer be privately managed.”

In conclusion, the situation at Monza is more than just about upgrades; it’s a reflection of the commitment and vision for Formula 1’s future in Italy. The coming months will be crucial in determining whether Monza can align with the evolving demands of the sport and retain its esteemed position on the F1 calendar.

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