Sebastian Vettel has called on Formula 1 to ensure that the Italian Grand Prix remains at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza amid uncertainty about the circuit’s future.
Monza has appeared on all but one F1 calendar since the formation of the world championship back in 1950, but is at threat of losing its hosting rights upon the expiration of its current contract in 2017.
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone called the track “disastrous for us from a commercial point of view”, suggesting that the race may make way for more lucrative events in nations such as Azerbaijan and Qatar.
Speaking after finishing second in his first Italian Grand Prix as a Ferrari driver, Vettel stressed the importance of keeping Monza on the calendar regardless of its financial considerations.
“If we take this away from the calendar for any s****y money reasons I think you are basically ripping our hearts out,” Vettel said.
“We are here, we are racing and this makes it so much more worthwhile. It’s what we’re here for. You stand on the grid, you look to the left, you look to the right, people are just happy to be part of it and it makes our day.
“So, simple as that. It’s incredible. So, thanks for this emotion on behalf of all the Ferrari team. Thank you.”
Vettel’s thoughts were echoed by Williams’ Felipe Massa, who said it was crucial to keep the sport’s most historic venues on the calendar.
“I don’t think they can take it out,” Massa said. “The history of Formula 1, this is history here, here is part of what is Formula 1. Everything that Formula 1 grows [into] is a lot thanks to these races as well, to these people.
“We race for the people and when you see the podium with a lot of people like that and they’re screaming and crying, I don’t think we can lose that. This is part of our blood and we cannot lose this type of races.
“I really like to go to new countries, we go to amazing countries, countries that I even didn’t know what they meant before and then I love to go there, many different countries and I’m really in favour to go there but you cannot lose something which is inside the blood as well.”