Law doesn't allow Italian Grand Prix at Imola

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The Italian Grand Prix will only receive financial help from the Automobile Club d'Italia (ACI) if the race is held at Monza and not at Imola.

Bernie Ecclestone recently claimed the race is likely to move to Imola if an agreement is not reached with Monza following months of negotiations over a new contract. However, speaking to F1i during the FIA Sport Conference in Turin, ACI president Angelo Sticchi Damiani revealed the law makes such a scenario unlikely.

Asked if the race could take place at Imola, Sticchi Damiani - speaking via a translator - replied: "Monza because in the Italian financial law it is written that the grand prix should be Monza, not Imola.

"The involvement of the Automobile Club of Italy, who is involved directly in the running of the grand prix starting next year, is for an Italian Grand Prix running in Monza, not in Imola.

“This is a new law, a financial law, that was approved at the beginning of the year.”

And Sticchi Damiani believes the ACI is close to securing the future of the race at Monza, with this year the last on the current contract.

“Monza, I’m hoping to have a solution next month. It’s a complicated affair of course. I think we are very close to a solution, it is very, very complicated as you can imagine with Bernie Ecclestone. I have worked a lot but I trust we are very close to a solution.”

Sticchi Damiani had earlier explained the reasons for any new deal taking so long to be agreed, with negotiations having been going on for a number of months.

"Let’s say that it is a difficult negotiation. It’s the first time a sports association in Italy has taken on the burden to organise the Formula One grand prix with significant funds. The fact that ACI is replacing the Automobile Club Milano, which is still organising the grand prix this year, is of course a revolution and a quite relevant one.

"However, thanks also to the support of the Lombardi regional authority and, hopefully, thanks to a national sponsor that still needs to be defined in detail, thanks to this support we managed to begin [negotiations] in February.

"Around Monte Carlo we found many common points with Ecclestone – there are things that still have to be defined – but I would dare say that we are very close to an agreement despite some actions that, of course, have not helped. The negotiations, quite the opposite, have made it even more complicated and longer."

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