Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone believes that the sport’s new partnership with Dutch beer company Heineken could help save the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
Monza has hosted all but one Italian Grand Prix since the first world championship event in 1950, and is widely recognized as being one of the most historic and famous tracks on the calendar.
However, its contract is set to expire following the 2016 race on September 4, with negotiations regarding an extension still ongoing.
Ecclestone has admitted in the past that Monza’s place is far from secure, particularly with Imola – the former host of the San Marino Grand Prix – expressing an interest in taking the race.
On Thursday, F1 announced a new global partnership with Heineken, part of which will see the company enjoy title sponsorship for the Italian Grand Prix for the next four years.
Speaking to reporters at the announcement, Ecclestone said that he believes the new deal will help Monza’s chances of staying on the F1 calendar.
“It is probably going to help,” Ecclestone said, as quoted by F1i.
“They need a bit more help. It’s Italian, because you know it’s in Italy, and it is very, very, very, very political.
“It is getting all the people that are involved to agree on something. All of them want to save the race.
“We will be at Monza this year for sure. [Beyond that] is up to them.
“They have a contract. They have got a pen, I believe, now.”