Rome has officially – and finally – walked away from its plans to host a street race in the Italian capital city, with the city officials deciding instead to concentrate their efforts on securing hosting duties for the Olympic Games.
The announcement follows months of speculation, to-ing and fro-ing, between city officials, race promoters and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, with the initial hopes being dented when Ecclestone sent a letter to the city’s mayor stating that no country could be afforded the luxury of hosting two races in the same year.
And while Mr E hasn’t done anything to dump the Spanish circuits of Barcelona or Valencia from the F1 calendar just yet, this effectively put paid to Rome’s hopes on the spot, as the Italian Grand Prix’s traditional host – Milan’s Autodromo Internazionale di Monza – would be unlikely to relinquish its hosting duties without a serious fight.
Furthermore, the city has faced further pressure from Formula 1’s leading team, Ferrari, which has been a vocal opponent to the Rome plans.
Almost two-thirds of Richard’s F1 readers who answered a recent poll we posted online indicated that they would prefer for the Italian Grand Prix to remain solely at Monza.
But although there were recent claims by the event’s promoter that the event was still on the cards, Rome city mayor Gianni Alemanno has now officially pulled the pin on the venture.
“We formally and definitely give up on the hypothesis of a Formula 1 Grand Prix in Rome,” he told the La Stampa newspaper.
“This move represents a step backwards because we have always said we would have done so, should the FIA have posed an alternative between Rome and Monza,” he added.
“However, we have an Olympic dream that is still going on: so let’s make clear to Italy and to the world that we want to stage the games in Rome.”
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