By Adam Tate, Associate Editor
After incredibly lengthy negotiations, the contract to extend the Italian Grand Prix at Monza through 2019 has finally been signed.
It came after months of rumor and speculation on the future of the race. It came after Imola challenged to move the race. It came after Bernie Ecclestone and Angelo Sticchi Damiani butted heads several times.
News of the new contract being agreed to broke during the Italian Grand Prix weekend back at the beginning of September, but officials insisted there were still small details to be worked out and the agreement had yet to be signed.
Nearly three months later and it is signed. Heaven only knows what took Bernie, Damiani, the track, and the ACI (Automobile Club d’Italia) so long to work on the details. It is worrying that one of the most historic and significant tracks on the schedule would have such difficulty with a new contract, but it will come as a massive relief to the tifosi and all of Formula One that it is completed.
For his part, Damiani praised the deal, rumored to be worth 70 million euro.
“We have avoided the possibility that, after 70 years, Italy could lose the most prestigious, historic and fascinating automobile races in the world. Now we move forward together, with the goal of making the grand prix at Monza an even more important event that fascinates and attracts more and more fans worldwide.”