Rome, November 29 - The Italian Formula One motor racing Grand Prix will stay at Monza for another three years, the head of the Italian Automobile Club (ACI) Angelo Sticchi Damiani said Tuesday after a new contract was signed with F1 Monday. The signing clinched a deal made September 2 between the ACI chief and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. "On behalf of all Italian sports fans I must thank Premier Matteo Renzi and the president of CONI (the Italian Olympic Committee) Giovanni Malagò who, just over a year ago, showed their belief in this goal and created the conditions to reach, together, this very important result", said Sticchi Damiani. "I'm very satisfied with this great result," said Malagò. "Without the careful and stubborn work of President Sticchi Damiani, to whom I give my heartfelt thanks, Italy would have lost its F1 grand prix." On September 2 Ecclestone announced that Monza's contract to hold the Italian Formula One Grand Prize has been renewed until 2019. Ecclestone said he hoped that the Italian GP, which took place that weekend, would be run at Monza "for the next 100 years" before a hand-shake with Sticchi Damiani and Lombardy Governor Roberto Maroni which sealed the renewal of the track's contract. "I'll go to London (for the signing) to be on the safe side," joked Maroni. Ruling body FIA head Jean Todt said "it's the conclusion that was due". Sticchi Damiani that "we've had to work hard" and thanked Renzi for engineering a "turning point" by meeting Ecclestone last year. He also thanked the Lombardy regional government for its support. "The required investment is 17 million dollars more than the current contract. We couldn't have done it on our own," he said, adding that "Ecclestone also showed patience, a sign that Monza is important for him too". The talks to renew the existing contract, which was due to run out next year, have been long and hard. Malago' said earlier this year that the Monza race was "sacred" and that he was optimistic that it would stay in the city despite the difficulties involved. The sporting event has been held there since 1922. The Italian Grand Prix (Gran Premio d'Italia) is one of the longest-running events on the Formula One calendar. The Italian Grand Prix was also one of the inaugural Formula One championship races in 1950, and has been held every year since then. The only other championship race for which this is true is the British Grand Prix, and the only other inaugural F1 races that are still on the calendar are the Monaco Grand Prix and the Belgian Grand Prix.
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