NOVEMBER 23, 2004
Imola confirms deal until 2009
Reports from Italy indicate that the San Marino Grand Prix has agreed the terms of a contract to run until 2009 and while there are bound to be plenty of get-out clauses for the Formula One group the news raises a number of important questions about the fact that Italy has a second Grand Prix while other European countries are being chopped from the calendar. The news also raises questions about how the organizers have got around the country's tobacco regulations as Italy has signed up to various anti-tobacco initiatives. In the recent years, however, the authorities have turned a blind eye to such activities, sending around an official at each race to collect fines from each of the teams for breaking the Italian law.
The other big question is how Imola has managed to find the money to refurbish as its facilities have long been among the worst in F1 and are far less impressive than those at Silverstone. The organizers are committed to making improvements but then they were supposed to have built new buildings for 2005 and this is obviously not going to happen.
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