Drivers hoping Monza keeps place on F1 calendar

2015 Italian Grand Prix

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Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso are hoping the threatened Italian Grand Prix keeps its place on the F1 calendar.

Italy is one of only two countries to have held a round of the world championship since the series began but Formula One Management boss Bernie Ecclestone has indicated it could lose its slot in future as another of F1’s historic races, the German Grand Prix, did earlier this year.

“Monza is one of the legendary tracks so of course it is important to the F1 calendar just as the German Grand Prix is important,” said Rosberg.

“Of course I definitely wish that we continue to race there in front of the Tifosi, the atmosphere is always awesome. It’s important to F1, that race.”

Alonso, who won the Italian Grand Prix as a Ferrari driver in 2010, agreed with Rosberg but pointed out that just because a race is considered “important” does not mean it will hold onto its place in F1.

“It’s one of the best races of the year,” said Alonso. “The podium is amazing there with all the fans on the main straight. And it is the home of Ferrari so it’s very important for Formula One.”

“But as Nico said also the German Grand Prix is very important and it’s not any more this year, so who knows?”

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    Keith Collantine
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    25 comments on “Drivers hoping Monza keeps place on F1 calendar”

    1. Monza is one of the legendary tracks so of course it is important to the F1 calendar just as the German Grand Prix is important,” said Rosberg.

      I don’t agree Monza and the German GP are of the same level. Monza must remain on the calender at all costs for me. Hockenheim or Nordshleife, meh there are better tracks. They are both fun but so is Istanbul Park, Imola,…

      1. Why do so many people seem to view Imola in the best light possible? It was an awful track for racing.

        I don’t care how pretty it was (it was quite that).
        I don’t care that it was removed and replaced with a non-European event (Italy was too saturated with events and it was bound to lose its round with Schumacher’s retirement).
        I don’t care that it was a traditional round when you were younger, possibly in childhood growing up (Same here – the first F1 event I remember watching took place at Imola in the early 1990s).

        It wasn’t a particularly demanding circuit – far too many chicanes and tight corners and there was virtually nowhere to pass. The only reasons the 2005 and 06 GPs were as highly rated as they were because a slower car (Alonso’s R25 in 2005; Schumacher’s 248 F1 in 2006) was able to obtain the lead and block a considerably faster car (Schumacher’s F2005 in 2005; Alonso’s R26 in 2006) for laps on end.

        The only thing I can say about it is that it was pretty and it had some memorable (and obviously notorious, though the events of that weekend in 1994 were largely independent of venue) moments but it wasn’t really good for anything else.

    2. I certainly hope Monza keeps its place on the calendar, but sadly I think with other countries offering bucket loads of cash to host GP’s it may very well be in danger. This will raise the hosting fees, it is sort of akin to a historic restaraunt getting the boot due to the rent being doubled or tripled to increase profits for the property owners, which in this case is CVC/Bernie.

    3. I wish Mugello and Monza would co-host Italian GP much like Nürburgring and Hockenheim.
      Monza often produces weak races and I wouldn’t mind if F1 circus would visit it only once in two years.

    4. Said it a couple of days a go that Ferrari can lobby hard for the Italian and German GPs by using Gutierrez as bargaining chip to get Hulkenberg at the end of this season (top class driver IMO).We know they don’t really need his Claro sponsorship and it truly would be a win-win situation for everyone!Force India becomes Mexico’s favourite team and No.1 promoter of the GP with Guti and Perez onboard,in addition Guti continues his carrier (he’s 23 and former GP3 champ so maybe not top class but he deserves it) and Ferrari re-becomes Germany’s favourite team just in time for when they go racing again at Hockenheim.All this can only boost the chances of the Italian and German GPs to stay on beyond 2016 given the political gravitas of Ferrari and help Force India take the next step after a good 2014,new wind tunnel in 2015 and solid sponsorship and exposure in Latin america in 2016!Vettel and Hulk combo will gain Ferrari more German fans than Mercedes could ever dream of!Speculating to the max here but hope to be right

      1. Why would Guti go to FI, and sit alongside that PR nightmare that is Sergio Pérez, when he can go straight to Haas and have his Northern Mexican fans connect better with a U.S. Team?

        1. Are you even serious?I don’t see anything wrong with Perez to be honest!Regardless that’s not the point i’m trying to make;Force India is a solid midfield team trying to grow (good 2014 and new wind tunnel this year) and Guti and Perez are sponsored by the same exact portfolio of sponsors (Telmex/Claro of Carlos Slim).Force India even unveiled their car in Mexico City this year so having both of them onboard is massive for the GP,the team and the sponsors.Also after a poor 2014 and nothing this year Guti is the perfect man for that sit.Provided Hulk goes to Ferrari as i hope.Just speculating though…

        2. Also say what you want about the North American fans or visibility but Haas isn’t going to win or regularly score points for at least the first two years so Guti and his sponsors aren’t likely to consider it appealing compared to a Force India (provided the vacancy opens)

          1. Pérez is a competent driver, but a terrible media personality. One of the reasons why he was sacked from McLaren, in voice of those near the situation, was that he was amateurish in his handling of public events. For Mexican media he is also not the friendliest of celebrities, add to that, his own sister is the one handling his social media accounts, with questionable responses to the Massa crash and to the parting of long-term associate Adrian Fernández.

            Guti has much better control of his public persona.

            As for Haas, realistically, Gutiérrez is not going to drive for Ferrari unless he can win one or two WDCs before he turns 30. So he’s on the Ferrari stable to be outsourced to the associate teams. And while yes, they are not going to give Williams or RedBull a scare, they will get a lot of attention, at least during their first year. Coming from Nascar, I’m sure they will show the F1 folk a couple of tricks on fan engagement.

            Why it makes sense for Guti’s fan base?, well he comes from a northern state where there’s still a middle class, a group of people who regularly cross into the US for shopping and entertainment. They’re big fans of the Dallas Cowboys and a important market for other NFL and MLB teams. So having one of their ‘nationals’ in a closely based F1 team will be a big thing.

            1. Oh ok i see…You make very good points!Surprised to read such things about Perez but personally i don’t really care about his PR,personality or management and i don’t think Gutierrez does either!Drivers want to win or at least score points to let their career move forward so who cares if some people don’t like Perez or his comments about Massa!Given the choice he’d go to Force India no doubt.The fans would cross the border for the Austin Go regardless

    5. weren’t there suggestions that Mugello would host in place of Monza? But with drivers not driving flat out in most circuits I’d rather Monza stay for its history and speed!
      There were also suggestions Valencia would make a comeback. I don’t know how I feel about Valencia it reminds me of Sochi in some ways. The more the merrier I guess.

      1. @mim5 The last I heard of the Valencia track was a few years ago when it was apparently falling apart, so I’m skeptical it could be brought back up to standard.

          1. €600m? Bloody hell I hope they’ve huge plans outside of Formula 1 as well, otherwise that will not go well…

    6. What we must remember is that the Italian Grand Prix is a premiere event on the F1 calendar, and that, even though things look bleak now, a commercial opportunity as prestigious as the Grand Prix at Monza could yet find sponsors. And what’s more we will kick up a stick, as will the drivers, as will the teams, and Bernie will find himself with a searing PR crisis on his hands. And whilst Bernie is good at smoothing things over, loosing Monza would be a landmark moment in F1’s departure from the European homelands. Bernie is clever, is he ready to cross that line? Is he ready to sacrifice F1’s essence for a trip to Baku? Bernie is prone to bouts of silliness, or utter villainy even, but this would be new, and he realises that to. One hopes…

      Also, will Bernie’s preferred species of F1 viewer; pale, stale and with a villa in Tuscany, those that have firsthand experience of decades of Monza memories, not be the ones more aggrieved by Monza’s demise? I can’t foresee much success when I propose a trip to Baku to my seventy-year old, retired, millionaire uncle who spends his winters in Barbados…

      …my twenty-one year nephew would love to go though, Bernie?

      1. Actually, getting rid of all the old tracks might be part of Bernie’s strategy to get younger viewers engaged…

        …I used to be young and I know this calls for: #facepalm

    7. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
      7th May 2015, 17:25

      When has Bernie or the FIA really cared what the drivers want in terms of big decisions/changes like this? The teams as a whole, maybe, but the individual drivers?

    8. I would not wish for anyone to be taken away from this world, but Bernie has really angered me because he cares about money more than anything, even the sport and its fans. God, just take him away please.

    9. I don’t think F1 should ever be without the Italian GP- however, it can survive without the actual Monza facility. Sure, Monza is special- it’s hosted every Italian f1 GP since 1950 with the exception of 1980. But I for one would not at all mind seeing the Italian GP at Mugello or maybe even Imola.

    10. Oh dear.
      I think I am going to need my tin hat because I would be happy to see Monza go. I can’t recall many exciting races here – please remind me of any – and it’s not exciting to watch on TV either. The previous poster, mfriere would prefer Imola or Mugello; I think Imola has been totally emasculated, so maybe Mugello would be a better alternative.
      But I have to say that it would seem that about twenty races per season is about max for the teams. Which means that FOM (either with Bernie or after Bernie) are almost obliged to take the twenty top money bids, and if Monza propose to pay less that Iran or Dubai or Vanuatu or wherever, it has to be bye-bye to Italy.
      There may be other considerations of course; if the Italian Grand Prix was to disappear, would Ferrari feel so insulted that they left Formula 1?

    11. Any future calender HAS to be built around Monaco, Spa, Monza. Even if one of those is missing i’ll seriously consider not watching.

      1. AND Silverstone.

        It is, after all, a British sport gone global.

    12. F1 doesn’t deserve Monza.

    13. F1 without Monza would be like baseball without the NY Yankees, football without the Dallas Cowboys, hockey without the Montreal Canadiens and the Premiere League without Manchester United.

    14. It is NOW TIME for Mr Ecclelstone and sky and all the other money grabber that are distorting the best sport in the world to GO if we who
      love it want to keep it at all

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