Vettel: 'Fantastic news' Monza is staying on calendar

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Sebastian Vettel says it is "fantastic news" Monza is staying on the F1 calendar, and wants the race to remain regardless of the fee it pays.

The Italian Grand Prix is set to remain at Monza after Bernie Ecclestone agreed a new three-year contract with the race organisers. With the news announced during FP2, Vettel was only made aware of the extension after the session and responded: "That’s secure? That’s fantastic news.

"I think we all love this track. Obviously I’ve raced in red and I’ve raced in different colours, it’s the best to race in red obviously. But ignoring that for a second it’s a fantastic track, it’s a fantastic atmosphere.

"We need this track on the calendar and therefore that’s excellent news, even if I don’t know how much tracks are paying these days but we should even race here if - now I’m going to get myself in trouble - but even with a bad deal for whoever is cashing in, Monza has to stay on the calendar because it means more than just cash.

"It means history, tradition, racing, enthusiasm, Ferrari, so there’s a lot of reasons why we should come here.”

Focusing on this weekend's race, Vettel is confident Ferrari - with an updated power unit - can get even closer to Mercedes on Saturday after finishing third in FP2.

“I think we’ve had worse Fridays but I think Mercedes is looking very strong, similar to last year. They seem to be very competitive around here so in that regard nothing has changed, but let’s see. I think tomorrow we could have a good day, we need to improve the car, we need to focus on ourselves and then I think we can be a lot closer.”

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