SEPTEMBER 1, 2016
F1's second thoughts over Euro exodus says Monza
Italian grand prix chief Angelo Sticchi Damiani thinks a shift back to Europe could be occurring in F1.
After a long period of uncertainty, Monza and Bernie Ecclestone appear ready to sign on the dotted line of a new three-year contract from 2017.
"In the next hours, lawyers will exchange the latest considerations in London," Italian automobile club president Damiani told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I trust the signatures will be there by the end of the week," he added.
"Everybody has worked hard but even Ecclestone has been patient," Sticchi Damiani said, "which is a sign that Monza is important for him as well."
Indeed, he suspects that after a decade or more of aggressive expansion by F1 beyond the sport's traditional European base, things might now be changing.
"We all know that the world keeps evolving and F1 does too," he is quoted by Italy's Autosprint.
"Let's see what happens. We know that in Europe, there are many difficulties for organisers," said Sticchi Damiani.
In fact, it is rumoured that to keep Germany on the calendar for 2017, Ecclestone is even willing to agree a much lower fee and become the quasi-promoter.
"Europe is the heart of F1," the Italian said. "We have seen many hosts abroad come and go and it's not just about money -- it's about culture.
"Here, at Silverstone, Spa, Monte Carlo, F1 is in the DNA of the people. If you look at the numbers of Azerbaijan, there were not many people there on the three days.
"We have to wait now for this tsunami that led to the impoverishment of Europe from F1 to settle. Let's see what happens in this three years if there are second thoughts about people who just say 'I have the money'," he added.