Motorsport: Imola reaches deal with Ecclestone from 2017

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone in the paddock at Baku. Photo / Getty Images
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone in the paddock at Baku. Photo / Getty Images

Imola has reached an agreement with Bernie Ecclestone to host the Italian Grand Prix from 2017, although the circuit still requires the approval of the Automobile Club d'Italia (ACI) for the deal to be confirmed.

Monza's current contract to host the Italian Grand Prix comes to an end this year, with the ACI taking over the running of the event from 2017 onwards.

Negotiations between ACI president Angelo Sticchi Damiani and Ecclestone for the race to remain at Monza have so far fallen flat.

The failure of those negotiations lead Ecclestone to go to Imola as an alternative. However, the ACI has said it will only back a race at Monza.

Despite Sticchi Damiani insisting the race could only take place at the Autodromo Nazionale, Ecclestone has reached an agreement with Imola in a deal that seems far from conclusive.

'Bernie knows that we are available,' Formula Imola president Uberto Selvatico Estense told Motorsport.com.

'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.'

Imola last hosted a Grand Prix in 2006, where Michael Schumacher topped the podium, but has since undergone major redevelopment work. Last year's Italian Grand Prix at Monza was won by Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.

- Daily Mail

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