Ecclestone Prepared to Say Goodbye to Monza as Attendances Struggle but Drivers Offer Support
By iSportconnect | July 4, 2014
Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone has warned that Monza is likely to be struck from the calendar when their contract expires due to poor attendances.
Italy’s Autodromo Nazionale is one of the last remaining iconic venues on the calendar, but Ecclestone says he will say “bye-bye” to Monza after 2016.
Speaking to La Gazzeta dello Sport, Ecclestone said: “Audiences are lower in Italy than anywhere.
“I don’t think we’ll do another contract. The old one was a disaster for us from a commercial point of view.
“After 2016, bye-bye.”
Ecclestone’s remarks have gone down badly with fans and racers, with many F1 supporters believing his remarks are a negotiating tool ahead of talks.
Kimi Raikkonen has also come out and said it would be “very stupid” to drop Monza.
Raikkonen said: “You hear how they might drop that race and it would be very stupid in my opinion for Formula 1 and for everybody. Hopefully it will never happen.
But we are not the guys who decide those things, and for Ferrari it is an important place.
“Unfortunately I never won there, but hopefully in future we can do. It is a very nice place to go.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo added: “I wouldn’t like to see it go. Not only because of my Italian heritage and all the rest of it, but because it’s a circuit that needs to be part of Formula 1.
“It’s been part of it for so long. It’s one of the best weekends in terms of fans, atmosphere, and passion. It’s like Silverstone and Spa, there’s some on the calendar that just need to stay there.
“It’s the history of F1. It can’t really be tampered with I think. I definitely don’t want to see it go. I won’t go into if it does go, what it would make us drivers feel but let’s hope it stays and it’s high speed. It’s good fun.”