Monza still in doubt after Ecclestone meeting image

May 23 (GMM/ Efforts to put the future of the Italian grand prix back on track appear to have faltered.

With Bernie Ecclestone warning that his axe is hanging above historic Monza, Italian automobile club president Angelo Sticchi-Damiani and official Ivan Capelli, representing the promoter Sias, met on Friday with the F1 supremo in Monaco.

Corriere della Sera, a Milan-published daily, said the meeting resulted in “stalemate”.

Organisers of the Italian grand prix are reportedly EUR 20 million short in their struggle to remain on an ever-expanding F1 calendar that is increasingly moving away from Europe and into more lucrative markets such as Mexico and Azerbaijan.

Sticchi-Damiani, however, remains hopeful.

“I know that there is the political will to solve this problem,” he said.

Earlier this week, however, Ecclestone said one alternative could be Mugello, the Ferrari-owned track in Tuscany.

“It would be a wonderful opportunity,” the 84-year-old was quoted by Il Giorno. “It was a project that (former Ferrari president Luca) Montezemolo long thought about.”

Sticchi-Damiani replied: “If we have formula one in Monza, it means we have done a good job. Any other option would not be the result of a good job.

“I would be a fool not to argue that Monza is the ideal theatre for the grand prix,” he added.