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A Grand Prix in Rome…seriously?
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A Grand Prix in Rome…seriously?
Posted By:   |  28 Jan 2009   |  2:03 pm GMT  |  10 comments

Two thousand five hundred years after the Romans got their kicks from Chariot racing, there is a plan to bring their modern counterparts back to race there.

Plans are afoot for a second Grand Prix in Italy, on a street circuit in Rome. The man behind it is Maurizio Flammini, the founder of the World Superbike series.

Flammini showed the plans to Bernie Ecclestone at the recent Ferrari event in Madonna di Campiglio and Ecclestone seemed interested, according to the Roman entrepreneur. “We reflected on how street races offer an opportunity to grow F1, as happened last year in Valencia and Singapore,” he said in Gazzetta dello Sport today.

Well, up to a point…Luca di Montezemolo, the Ferrari and FOTA president has said the exact opposite, criticising the new street tracks for their lack of overtaking opportunities.

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10 Comments
  1. James says:

    This had better be a joke like a London GP would have been!

    Real racing happens on racetracks to my mind. Although parts of Rome do have very wide roads, it still wouldnt be great to my mind. Why waste a GP on a street track, particuarly in Italy when you have Monza AND Imola (well, albeit Imola being in San Marino, but not need for technicalities on this…!).

    Take Valencia as an example. People believed there would be lots of overtaking on that track, but it was proved otherwise last year! Similar case of Singapore, which was definately a brilliant event, but there was again little overtaking. It would seem silly to have more street races with less ovetaking, despite all numerous measures being implemented to increase overtaking this year?

  2. Ali says:

    It’s a quite simple fact: Venues are not racing but cars and drivers!

    I really hate that idea from the very first moment I’ve heard about. Street tracks might have built very fast, (all track) organizers might have done an amazing job, and streets might have filled with historical or technological sights and bits and pieces or whatever. But, this is not a “must” for a good racing. If Bernie would like to make more money, he should concentrate on improving races not “show” itself. I assure himself he’ll gain much more money that he can think of!

    It’s somewhat hypocrisy to bring new street circuits on the calender while on the other hand trying to improve overtaking. Is it FOM vs. FIA clash or something?

  3. Al27 says:

    Sounds ok to me – but it must be to replace Valencia. 3 street circuits a year should be the max, with Monaco, Singapore and maybe alternating between Rome/Paris.

  4. Darren says:

    I think everyone is a bit harsh on the Valencia street circuit. It had a decent layout, it was just unlucky that it happened to be one of very few bad races in 2008. Hopefully by next year, the painted lines and the effects of road traffic will make it into a proper street circuit. I think it’ll be more like the Canadian GP usually is, with plenty of incidents and some overtaking.

    James, I thought the South Korean F1 project was dead, a bit like the Mexican GP proposal in 2006. Will it be ready by next season, and what will the track be like? I think taking F1 Korea is more worthwile than giving Italy a secong race. I think Koreans could take to F1 a lot more than the locals at other new races like China, Bahrain and Malaysia.

  5. Matt says:

    It seems in the near future, F1 will become a sport in deserts, on Boulevards and only happening in the late nights in order to show Bernie how brilliant Edison’s invents are! Definitely, the shows in the deserts or on the boulevards in the dark of Far east or Mid East will bring BENZ, Ferrari, BMW or other business fewer profits than Americas or Euro do while Bernie the opposite.

  6. jose arellano says:

    i think they should use a limiter like the one used on pit lane, but for yellow flag … or even without a button, just a signal from race director to their ECU that makes all the cars slow down at the same time … for the engines, think fridays shouldn’t count … now, like alonso said, fridays are going to be very quiet.

  7. rpaco says:

    jose: I think you are in the wrong thread here but we must not let the race director control the speed of the cars by remote control, it must be left down to the drivers to organise their own accidents.

  8. Duncan says:

    I’m in favour of any street circuit being added in favour of Valencia which is now the worst race on the calendar: no overtaking and a backdrop of steel containers and dockland.

    As much as Singapore was a spectacle, without Piquet hitting the wall and bringing the safety car out, it would have been a dull race as well with few overtaking opportunities.

    Hopefully the organisers have looked at this and there may be a couple of adaptations to the layout to allow more passing.

  9. kyle says:

    Why waste so much money building another one of herman tilke so called street courses when you have tracks like imola which are already up to f1 standards. I would rather see a race at mugello than one in rome. At least the tifosi would come and watch. ONLY TO BE SENT HOME CRYING BY MCLAREN.

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