This should send shivers – or at least potential shockwaves – through the Formula One paddock.
Bernie Ecclestone has told Italy’s Gazzetta Dello Sport he doesn’t see the Italian Grand Prix remaining at Monza past the end of its current contract, which expires in 2016.
“It’s not good. I don’t think we’ll do another contract, as the old one has been disastrous for us from a commercial point of view,” Ecclestone told the paper, via the Associated Press.
“So it’s bye-bye after 2016.”
Poor local ratings in Italy and the aforementioned lack of commercial value according to Ecclestone would be cited as the reasoning. A new contract would have to be struck that makes better financial sense to the FOM supremo, it would appear.
Of course, if passion and fever were the only rating that measured a Grand Prix, Monza would be top of the list. It’s hosted every Italian Grand Prix since 1950 with the exception of 1980, when the race was held at Imola.
The tifosi haven’t had much to cheer about with Ferrari’s struggles this season; meanwhile there hasn’t been an Italian driver on the grid since Jarno Trulli was bounced from Caterham just before the 2012 season.