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Is the Italian GP set to be held behind closed doors?

Angelo Sticchi Damiani stresses that more late race cancellations would be detrimental to the sport, as he admits further negotiations between ACI and Liberty will take place if the Italian GP becomes a participants-only event.

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Is the Italian GP set to be held behind closed doors?
Fuente imagen: Jerry Andre - MotorLAT

ACI President Angelo Sticchi Damiani expressed his concerns on the regular course of the Italian GP due to the ongoing Coronavirus emergency. As more European countries extend lockdowns and mass gatherings bans, even the possibility of holding the historical Monza race behind closed doors becomes more and more realistic.

The outbreak of Coronavirus took a toll on F1's 2020 (and 2021) calendar, whose first nine races have been pushed back and at least two more events are set to be rescheduled later in the year. At the moment the future of summer races lies in the hands of the single Governments, giving the FIA a huge headache to rearrange a 19-race calendar covering up six months, in full compliance with local protocols.

In an interview to Italian media outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, Sticchi Damiani declared that monitoring travel restrictions is going to be key, in order to evaluate the feasibility of the upcoming races. However, one thing is certain to the Italian: what occurred in Australia cannot happen again, as it would imply a general loss of income and credibility for all parties.

We are witnessing a situation of great uncertainty and we need to act cautiously," -he said- "Our priority is to understand what is going to happen in the countries that are hosting the upcoming races and in Italy and Great Britain too, as the majority of paddock personnel is from there”.

We can no longer afford to make mistakes as in Australia, when the race was cancelled with fans already inside the circuit. Everyone lost out, from Liberty to the teams and local organizers. Restarting and being forced to stop again would be a disaster”.

Further negotiations between ACI and Liberty are set to take place, in case the Italian GP evolves into as a participants-only event. Due to the absence of tickets sold, revising the deal previously agreed would become mandatory, but the issue does not come first.

"We will talk about it, but this topic has to be discussed later.The teams asked for 90 days' notice to restart and if we think about July we would already be late. Maybe they will reconsider it and 60 days will be enough".

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