END OF AN ERA:>Race officials are refusing to give up on Monza. Image: Supplied
Monza - Italian officials are refusing to acknowledge that Monza's chances of keeping the grand prix are now over.
Reports this week have suggested Bernie Ecclestone has inked a deal with alternative race host Imola, but the truth is that the contract is not yet signed.
Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone told the Italian media from his holiday in Croatia that Monza's problem is "political", and that if a deal with Imola falls through, "we will have to say 'goodbye' to F1 in Italy".
Political hurdles cleared
Italian automobile club chief Angelo Sticchi Damiani hit back by saying those political hurdles have now been cleared.
Lombardy vice president Fabrizio Sala has now told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport: "I'm sorry that Ecclestone said the obstacles for the Monza GP are political."
READ: Bernie Ecclestone the best negotiator around - Monza
"The region has already done its part and at the end of May confirmed the allocation of EUR 5 million per year needed to close the contract.
"We are pleased that the president of the Aci, Sticchi Damiani, has clarified that there is no political problem and that next week a binding offer will be presented to FOM.
"We hope a conclusion can be reached quickly. The grand prix of Italy at Monza is part of our tradition and we can't allow it to be lost."