Minardi fears for Monza’s future

Date published: April 5 2015

In the wake of the demise of the German GP, former F1 team owner Gian Carlo Minardi admits he fears for the future of the sport's older European circuits.

Last month Germany was dropped from this year's calendar as neither Hockenheim nor the Nurburgring agreed a deal with Bernie Ecclestone to host the grand prix.

"We are talking about circuits that are part of a nation at the height of motor racing, not only sportingly speaking. However, they will not have a grand prix. This should make us think about," said Minardi.

And the Italian is worried that Monza, which is out of contract at the end of 2016, will be next.

Not only is the Italian circuit in need of a revamp but organisers also need to find roughly 22 to 24 million Euros to secure a new deal with FOM.

"So far, Monza has enjoyed privileged treatment compared to the average of the European and non-European countries," he said, revealing that the circuit's current deal means the only money going to the event organisers is from ticket sales.

"Royalties and logistics depend on FOA," he added. "Too little to survive and cover all costs."

Minardi called on the Italian government to "intervene", saying they should take into account what Formula 1 brings to the region.

"In seven/ten days, a Formula 1 Grand Prix moves, in areas where it takes place, a turnover amounting to 100-120 million dollars, reaching hundreds of millions of people per event, through television and newspapers around the world that only the Olympics and various World Championships can reach, but every four years.

"Formula 1 represents a real economic benefit for state assets. Precisely for this reason, Formula 1 must be treated as World Swimming Championships, the Olympics or World Football Championships, events in which not only the Sports Federation but also the government can intervene.

"Do not forget that Italy has the number one cultural heritage in the world, which is envied by all. Therefore, we should use Formula 1 as a magnet to attract tourists, studying holiday packages, Pre and Post GPs, with worldwide tour operators. Besides, we are talking about a city which is easily accessible by plane and high-speed trains."

He concluded: "Monza, along with Silverstone and Monte Carlo, is Formula 1."