SILVERSTONE, 3rd July 2014 (F1 Plus / Rosie Baillie) - President & CEO of Formula One Management (FOM) Bernie Ecclestone recently said that Monza may be dropped from the Formula One calendar at the end of it’s contract.
Ecclestone told Gazzetta dello Sport the contract was a ‘disaster from a commercial point of view’ and that TV ratings were low in Italy.
At the Drivers Press Conference in Silverstone Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa and Jenson Button all said it would be bad for the sport if Monza was removed from the calendar.
“I think it’s important not to forget that this sport would not exist if it wasn’t for the fans.” Hamilton said.
“Obviously there are certain business decisions people make but there’s tracks we’ve been to where there’s been no one in the grandstands and there’s a few, particularly, which are very very special like Monza,”
“the circuit’s just full of fans and it really does make the event. I think it’s important that we try and keep that in the sport.”
Williams driver Felipe Massa believed the sport will continue race at Monza and said it would be bad for the sport if it didn’t.
“Yeah, I think we’re still carrying on racing in Monza.” he said.
“It’s a fantastic place, great fans, so for sure, if we are not racing in Monza any more it would not be good for Formula One.”
“We need to go to places that people really love Formula One racing, like Silverstone. If we lost Silverstone it would not be positive, it would be a negative for all of us so I hope we can keep going to Monza for many years.”
Jenson Button weighed in, saying that although the Italian fans were never there to cheer on McLaren, he enjoyed seeing their passion.
“The fans absolutely love this sport, they will do anything for this sport and they’re not going to be there to support us, they’re there to support a certain team, but that’s great to see.” Button said.
“It’s nice to see their passion, they’re very patriotic and the circuit’s fun to drive.”
“[it] always throws up a good race so it would be a shame not to see it on the calendar.”