SEPTEMBER 23, 2001
Di Montezemolo fights for two Grands Prix in Italy
WITH globalization being the key word at the moment in FIA circles there are an increasing number of questions about why Germany and Italy have two Grands Prix each year while many other countries have no chance of a race. The answer is, of course, money and influence. Ferrari is an Italian team and this seems to be enough to convince the Italians that they have a right to two races.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has made it clear in recent days that he will use all his influence to ensure the continuation of the current arrangement with races at Imola in the Spring and Monza in the autumn. This is likely to make di Montezemolo popular in Italy but not at the FIA which would like to reduce Italy to one race so that the World Championship can expand around the world. Imola is the race at risk and di Montezemolo's remarks are believed to be linked to an attempt going on to reduce the World Championship to 16 races as originally agreed. The 17 races this year were supposed to "an exception". The only race that could be dropped easily next year is Imola as the contract is now up and there is a lot of work which Imola is claiming cannot be done.
The FIA will be coming up with a draft calendar for next year when it meets at the start of October.
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