Imola signs agreement with Bernie for Italian GP

The Imola management team have signed an agreement with commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone to run the Italian Grand Prix from as early as next year. The plans however must get approval from the national sporting authority.

Whilst Imola have done their bit to get the deal done, Bernie has to wait for the Automobile Club d’Italia to formally agree the move. Automobile Club d’Italia president Angelo Sticchi Damiani is known be a staunch supporter of Monza despite funding problems for the historic venue.

“Bernie knows that we are available,” Formula Imola president Uberto Selvatico Estense told

“And he sent us a proposal that we signed and sent back to him. We will be very happy to have F1 back in Imola. Our main effort is to achieve this kind of result.

“It just depends on Angelo Sticchi Damiani. I think it’s a political issue. We have an agreement with Bernie, and we only need the approval of the national sporting authority. If in the future there is not an Italian GP, it is only the problem of Mr Sticchi Damiani, who didn’t allow this agreement.”

The Imola President also has the backing of the regional government: “Stefano Bonaccini, the president of the region Emilia-Romagna, is supporting us.

“He is a very pragmatic man and he said if you have the contract, Bernie is happy and the national sporting authority approves this agreement, we support you.”

Imola is pushing for a quick answer so that they can proceed with plans to stage the race.

“I think we don’t have too much time to decide. We are going on with the work, also without an answer from Mr Sticchi Damiani.

“I think we have until December, maximum. I think it’s the limit, but the best thing will be before so we have one year to promote the race.”

Selvatico Estense has insisted that the circuit is in a good state of health physically and financially, and further upgrades are planned for the possible return of Formula one for the first time since the 2006 San Marino titled grand prix.

“We restructured the company several years ago, and now we’re running the company in a good position. We are in a good status. We closed the last three balance sheets positive, with a good result, so we think we are in a strong position to ask for the GP.

“We think that in Imola we can have a great success with spectators. We are building up new facilities, we are building up a new press room, we are completing the project of Hermann Tilke that began in 2006. Right now we are moving the medical centre and building up a new one. We are doing a lot.”

One possible alternative could see the Italian grand prix alternate between Monza and Imola, much like how the German GP deal was originally drawn up. It would be great to see a race back at Imola, but equally sad to see Monza disappear albeit for one year at a time.  The Imola circuit already holds a world superbike race, which utilises the variante bassa in its configuration.

14 responses to “Imola signs agreement with Bernie for Italian GP

  1. So the only thing that can stop it is italian politics which probably means just about any outcome is possible!

    • From what I understand he is removing all reference to an Italian circuit and making its as dull as possible. The run off ‘s will be into the next country and the curbs and corners will be painted so as not to hurt the pretty wheels..;) but then again who knows? He managed to Muller the sand box tracks but the COTA is a pretty good effort

        • It is almost like it is difficult to take a good track and make it “safe” and yet keep it good, but when you are handed a blank slate, you can likely make a good/great track if you have the know how. I know Tilke gets a lot of flack and some of it he deserves, but you have to remember he is given the order to make these tracks safe which I am sure is not his plan all the time. Its like telling a guy to paint a masterpiece with a rock and mud and getting mad when he doesn’t make one.

          Still, I feel like there could be some other designers out there that could have some unique ideas.

          • But still, I feel pomodru (?) – the guys responsible for the new Silverstone lay out, are better. At least: different.

      • Again, COTA isn’t Tilke’s design. This is the classical case of disinformation which nobody makes the effort to correct because is convenient for some people and becomes a reality by repetition. Tilke took the project when the track was already under construction, he just finished it, he wasn’t given the chance to destroy it.

        • You learn something new everyday, I have only ever heard his name tossed around over the COTA and it’s probably why its a good track 😉 cheers for the lesson

  2. I am glad I going to Monza before this idiot eliminates it. I was hopping a return of Imola but not a the cost of Monza. For the midget nothing is sacred

  3. Don’t forget, in recent years Bernie has signed contracts with Brands Hatch and Donington to host the British GP.
    They came to nothing and the race is still at Silverstone.
    It’s part of the game he plays

  4. I think in Imola and one of the things that come to my mind is how narrow it is. During the broadcasting of the Baku race the commentators of one the channels that show F1 in Latin America said several times that the track didn’t meet FIA’s minimal technical requirements due to the width of the track in the castle area and criticized them for continuing with their non sense ruling/enforcing (non enforcing) of the rules. Any idea if really there is a minimum width for the tracks and Baku didn’t meet it?

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