The city of Rome is attempting to "steal" the Italian grand prix from historic Monza, according to Monza mayor Marco Mariani

The city of Rome is attempting to "steal" the Italian grand prix from historic Monza, according to Monza mayor Marco Mariani.

Mariani was responding to reports that superbike promoter Maurizio Flammini recently presented F1's Bernie Ecclestone with plans for a Roman street race on the outskirts of the capital.

Mariani said Flammini's move is a "disgraceful attempt to steal" formula one from Monza, and Enrico Gelip, president of the Automobile Club d'Italia (ACI), commented that Monza is the "historic temple of speed and racing" and central to the F1 calendar.

In the pages of La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, no fan of street races, denounced the project as "unthinkable" but said a one-off Rome grand prix might be something to be "talked about".

Supporting the idea, however, is Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno, who has set up a working group and admitted it is a "very interesting project".

Flammini said: "Our hypothesis is to be ready for 2011, but we wouldn't mind for it to occur earlier than that."

 

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