Monza hopes to retain F1 race with investment plan

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3 July 2014 by Ryan Wood

With news that Bernie Ecclestone is planning to drop the Italian Grand Prix from the calendar in 2016, organisers of the race in Monza are hopeful they can change his mind.

Monza's contract is due to expire in 2016 and the 83-year-old recently hinted that it wouldn't be renewed after, but circuit boss Fedrico Bendinelli is hoping an investment plan to upgrade its facilities will convince Ecclestone to extend their current deal.

"Mr Ecclestone has not told us anything about this yet, so we don't know what the new requests are for the Italian Grand Prix from an economical and commercial point of view," he told SportBusiness.

"We plan to upgrade one area, such as grandstands, track and facilities, each year," he explained. "The project will start this year and will go on for the next four to five years.

"It's not easy to say how much we will spend, because it would come from public money as the circuit is not privately owned, however the investment will be at least €10m (£8m)."

Should the upgrades fail to convince Ecclestone - who often threatens to drop a race in order to encourage investment - it's believed the Italian GP could switch to an alternative venue, rather than being dropped completely.

Ferrari's Mugello circuit is one possibility and most recently held an F1 test in 2013 and has the necessary FIA safety rating for a race.