Rome GP plans on verge of failure

Thu, 13 Jan 20:14:00 2011

Rome's hopes of holding a Formula One race through its streets from 2013 looked dead on Thursday unless organisers can persuade the sport's ruling body to alternate the race with Monza's Italian Grand Prix.

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F1 supremo Ecclestone has told Rome authorities that two races in the same country per year is not possible but project chief Maurizio Flammini, who dreamt up the idea of racing through Rome's EUR district, has not given up hope.

"Ecclestone has proposed alternating Rome and Monza," he said in a statement.

However, angry Monza officials have said they will do everything to prevent a Rome race and historic Monza's popularity with fans and teams makes it highly unlikely such an idea would be agreed to.

Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno, whose city is also bidding for the 2020 Olympics, has said: "If there must be a choice between the two races we will take a step back."

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali has said that with 20 races now on the global calendar including newcomers India, there is no room for two in the same country.

Spain holds the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona and the European Grand Prix in Valencia but the latter is set to rotate to other nations in the future as F1 expands to new markets.

Reuters

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