FEBRUARY 10, 1997
Monza keeps the Italian Grand Prix
THE Automobile Club of Milan has signed a new five-year deal with the Formula 1 Constructors' Association to host the Italian Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale at Monza until the year 2001.
The new deal continues a tradition at Monza which dates back to September 1922 when Pietro Bordino won the first Italian Grand Prix to be held at the circuit, just a few days after it was opened. At the time it was only the world's third permanent racing circuit after Brooklands (1906) and Indianapolis (1909).
In recent years the Monza authorities have often been in conflict with the FIA - over safety and trackside advertising - but the announcement hopefully means that the Italian GP at Monza will remain one of the pillars of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship. The deal with Monza means that there are now at least 10 races with contracts which go into the next century, notably for the French, British, Spanish, Brazilian, Austrian, San Marino, Argentine, Australian and Canadian GPs. Deals are also in place for races in Korea and Malaysia. In effect, the contracts mean that the only way new venues are going to be fitted into the calendar is by increasing the number of races.