Much-loved F1 circuit wants ‘invaluable’ long-term commitment with future in doubt

Jamie Woodhouse
Race start at the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.

Race start at the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

As the Imola circuit – not the only Italian F1 venue under threat – bids to secure its long-term future, mayor of Imola Marco Panieri has issued a fresh call for two Italian-based races to continue long-term.

Formerly the long-time host of the San Marino Grand Prix, last staged in 2006, the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari – commonly referred to as Imola in reference to the town where it is based – returned to the Formula 1 calendar in 2020 as the venue for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Bid continues to keep two F1 races in Italy

Imola stepped up during a time of great uncertainty for the series during the global pandemic, the venue having featured on the calendar every year since, with the exception of 2023 when flooding in the region sadly forced the race to be cancelled.

Both Imola and fellow Italian venue Monza have Formula 1 contracts until the end of 2025 – Imola potentially set to receive an extra year since the 2023 staging did not go ahead – though neither venue is certain of a long-term place on the calendar, with Formula 1 president Stefano Domenicali warning “history” is no longer enough.

And with Imola taking that on-board by investing in improvements, the town’s president has spoken of the “invaluable” benefits for Italy of this race continuing as he called for Imola and Monza to continue to find a home on the F1 calendar for many years to come.

“While we are waiting to experience the excitement of this year’s Grand Prix, from May 17-19, we are continuing with work and teamwork on several levels to keep these two GPs in Italy and give them a long-term perspective,” said Panieri.

“Imola is ready for this year, its territorial system has already been made and is making important investments on the structures, the track, the hospitality and the multi-functionality of the spaces, working hard on the valorisation of the Motor Valley and in particular of Terre e Motori.

“I would like to thank the partners, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Infrastructure and Transport and Enterprise and Made in Italy, the Ice Agency, the Emilia-Romagna Region and ACI. Formula 1 is an opportunity of attraction, visibility and relaunch for Made in Italy that is invaluable for the whole country, not only for Emilia-Romagna.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

Follow PlanetF1.com’s WhatsApp channel for all the F1 breaking news!

F1 2024: Where to buy, how to watch, cheapest ticket prices and best package deals

ACI [Automobile Club d’Italia] president Angelo Sticchi Damiani spoke of compliance from Imola and Monza with F1’s calls to keep up with the times, as both venues continue to feature on the recently-announced 24-round schedule for 2025.

“Today’s announcement confirms ACI as the only body at world level that organises two world Grand Prix on its territory and is the right recognition of the commitment we are putting into ensuring that fans can enjoy the spectacle of Formula 1 in increasingly comfortable and up-to-date facilities,” he declared.

On the F1 2024 schedule, Imola will host Round 7 of the campaign, while the Italian Grand Prix will be staged at Monza on September 1 as Round 16 of the season.

Read next: Mario Andretti issues ‘don’t overdo it’ warning amid major F1 expansion plans