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F1: Italian Grand Prix 'not at risk'

Automobile Club of Italy gets reassurances from Ecclestone

F1: Italian Grand Prix 'not at risk'

Rome, June 28 - The Italian Grand Prix is not in danger of being dropped from the Formula One calendar, the Automobile Club of Italy (ACI) said Friday after its president met the sport's supremo Bernie Ecclestone. Ecclestone sparked alarm this week when he failed to rule out dumping the historic and much-loved Italian race at Monza. "The Formula One calendar will see changes and a few races in Europe may be lost," Ecclestone was quoted as saying in an interview with Italian weekly Panorama. "If we were to do without Monza, and I say if because no decision has been taken, it would only be for economic reasons. "Naturally, the quality of the circuit and the organization could be better but, I repeat, this isn't the key point". But ACI, which is involved in organising the race, said its President Angelo Sticchi Damiani, who is also vice president of motor-racing's international governing body FIA, had received assurances from Ecclestone in a meeting in England ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix. Sticchi Damiani said in the statement that Ecclestone "told me that he had never said there were problems with Monza and, above all, that the future of the Italian Grand Prix is at risk". The Italian Grand Prix is one of only two races to have been part of the Formula One season every year since it started in 1950, with the other being the British Grand Prix. It has been held at Monza each time except once, in 1980, when it was held at Imola. A part of the appeal of the Monza race is that it is the home grand prix of F1's glamour team, Ferrari.

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