Bernie Ecclestone has agreed in principal to bring Formula 1 to the streets of Rome. According to the developer of the project, Maurizio Flammini, plans have been in the works for a year and a half, and Ecclestone has finally given his tentative approval.
It should be stressed that as of yet, a Rome F1 event is still in the conceptual stage. The actual course layout has not been determined, and it’s also likely that the commercial details have yet to be worked out and agreed upoon. However, with Eccelstone’s provisional approval in place, the race promoters will be able to continue the development of the project.
According to a report in The Guardian, Flammini said, “The agreement with Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone to give life to the Rome grand prix has already been done and signed. The appropriate course still has to be defined.”
There has been some concern among people familiar with the plan that a Rome Grand Prix might displace the more traditional venue at Monza, which has been the home of the Italian Grand Prix since the inception of the series. However, the mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, claims that the Rome event will be a second Italian Grand Prix.
“We think the Rome grand prix would be very important and we are in favour of it,” Alemanno said. “And it’s not true that it is an alternative to Monza. Monza is a grand prix on the circuit, and the grand prix of Rome is integrative to that of Monza, it’s not a replacement. We have calculated that there will be an income of 1 billion euros a year with this grand prix and Rome needs to renew its tourist appeal. Not only the past, archaeology and monuments, but also the future, something which is aimed at families and youngsters.”
Image by peprice, licensed through Creative Commons.