Formula One: Monza Officials Say No to Rome Hosting Street Circuit GP

Stuart BairdCorrespondent IJanuary 18, 2011

Podium at Historic Monza
Podium at Historic MonzaMark Thompson/Getty Images

The Formula One circus brings great revenue and prestige to any country that gets to host a Grand Prix.

With new races in Korea, and the Middle East, along with Austin, Texas and Russia in the near future, other countries are tripping over themselves while trying to bid to hold their own F1 race.

Rome has entered a bid to hold a street race through the historic city from 2013, but recently had their hopes dashed by Mr. Bernie Ecclestone.

Ecclestone has said that “two races cannot be held in the same country.”

The historic circuit Monza already hosts the Italian GP, and has done for many years.

Rome’s project boss Maurizio Flammini has proposed that the two tracks share the race, alternating between them every year, as is the case in Japan, with Fuji and Suzuka. Even Bernie supports this idea.

The idea of cars running at full speed, through a high down-force, tight track, engine notes bouncing off the walls of the city’s buildings, tearing past famous landmarks, with the Italian sun glaring down on them, is a very evocative thought.

Monza’s officials, though, have responded to this proposal, saying they “are not prepared to share the hosting of the event.”

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Some countries have hosted two GP’s in the past. Germany used to host the German GP, at Hockenhiem, and the European GP, at the Nurburgring, while Japan, as mentioned before, alternates each year between Fuji and Suzuka.

Many fans were excited by the prospect of a GP in Rome, but most fans love Monza.

The historic racing track is the spiritual home of the Tifosi and famously allows the fans to spill on the track after the race has finished, allowing for many amazing moments with drivers celebrating on the podium above a massive sea of die-hard F1 fans.

I feel, while a Rome GP is intriguing, there are a few street-based circuits already on the calendar, like Monaco, Singapore and Valencia (which is hosted in Spain as the European GP, while Barcelona hosts the Spanish GP).

Monza is a low down-force, high-speed track that helps to link the sport with its historic roots despite the influx of the new, modern circuits in the new, exotic parts of the world.