Imola has Italian GP agreement with Ecclestone

© XPB 

Imola has signed an agreement with Bernie Ecclestone to host the Italian Grand Prix, but does not have approval from the Automobile Club d'Italia (ACI).

The future of the race in Monza has been uncertain for a number of months, with the current contract expiring after this year's edition of the race and the ACI taking over the running of the race from 2017. With speculation the race could fall off the calendar, Imola has been working on improving its facilities in order to be a viable alternative venue.

Formula Imola president Uberto Selvatico Estense has now told an agreement has been signed for the race to be held at Imola but requires ACI approval.

"Bernie knows that we are available," Selvatico Estense said. "And he sent us a proposal that we signed and sent back to him. We will be very happy to have F1 back in Imola. Our main effort is to achieve this kind of result.

"It just depends on Angelo Sticchi Damiani. I think it's a political issue. We have an agreement with Bernie, and we only need the approval of the national sporting authority. If in the future there is not an Italian GP, it is only the problem of Mr Sticchi Damiani, who didn't allow this agreement.

"Stefano Bonaccini, the president of the region Emilia-Romagna, is supporting us. He is a very pragmatic man and he said if you have the contract, Bernie is happy and the national sporting authority approves this agreement, we support you."

Despite Selvatico Estense's comments, Sticchi Damiani has already made clear the Italian law does not allow the race to be held anywhere other than Monza if it is to receive financial backing from the ACI.

"Monza because in the Italian financial law it is written that the grand prix should be Monza, not Imola," Sticchi Damiani told F1i last month when asked if Imola was an alternative option.

"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.”

F1 last raced at Imola in 2006.

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