Honda F1 website

MARCH 13, 2004

Imola asks Berlusconi for cash

The president of the Italian Automobile Club (ACI) has written to the country's Prime Minister asking for cash to pay for an upgrade for the Enzo & Dino Ferrari Circuit at Imola, in the hope that the work will safeguard the future of the San Marino Grand Prix. Bernie Ecclestone has said that Imola will not get a race in 2005 unless the track is upgraded but the Formula One boss has left the door open, saying that the race can be saved if work is done. There would also have to be a negotiation over the terms of the new contract as circuits are now paying around $40m a year in order to get Formula 1 to visit. Imola's current deal is much less expensive than that.

It is not thought very likely that the Italian government will come up with money as Italy already has one round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

However, if Berlusconi fails to find the cash, the authorities in Imola will at least have someone else to blame...