After the success of the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, two other prestigious circuits in the country are reported to be thinking about making bids to hold future Formula 1 races.
Monza has just secured a five-year extension to its existing contract to hold a race at the Temple of Speed until 2024.
But with F1 bosses interested in expanding the calendar, that doesn’t rule out the possibility of another circuit in Italy holding an additional race – possibly under the historic San Marino or European Grand Prix marques.
Both Imola and Mugello are said to be considering just such a move.
Imola’s Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari has already played a big role in Formula 1 in the past, hosting the San Marino Grand Prix on 26 occasions between 1981 and 2006.
It was also the venue for the 51st Italian Grand Prix in 1980 when Monza was undergoing refurbishment.
Sadly, it was also where Ayrton Senna suffered his fatal crash in 1994, in what is considered to be one the blackest weekends in the recent history of the sport.
Seen by many as Ferrari’s true home circuit, Imola has recently completed a redevelopment program to return it to the FIA Grade 1 required to host a Grand Prix which included removing the final chicane.
Circuit chiefs have now contracted track design company Dromo to revamp Imola’s paddock hospitality facilities. A statement from the Imola management said that they were “ready to accept the challenge” of hosting a Grand Prix again.
Circuit president Uberto Selvatico Estense spoke of “the possibility, even at our historic racetrack, to see the red cars and the whole circus return.
“To achieve such a result it is essential to have the full support of regional and metropolitan institution,” he added.
In contrast, the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello has never held an official F1 race, although it has hosted test sessions as recently as 2012. It’s best known as the venue for the motorcycling MotoGP event and supporting Moto2 and Moto3 races.
The circuit revealed on Tuesday that the annual activity at the track contributed almost 130 million euros to the local and regional economy across Tuscany in 2017, according to a new economic impact study.
Not surprisingly, Mugello chiefs would love to add to that by bringing F1 to the circuit for the first time, although for the time being their focus remains keeping on the MotoGP calendar.
“The first objective will be to renew the agreement with the MotoGP,” said Mugello circuit director Paolo Poli. “Then in five years we will also think about applying to bring Formula 1 to Tuscany.
“It should be remembered that unlike other Italian circuits, Mugello is not state-run,” Poli told Italian news agency Ansa.
“Partnerships will be necessary at national level, as Monza did by signing the agreement with F1 for the next few years.”