Despite the fact that Monza is Scuderia Ferrari’s home race, this year’s Italian Grand Prix did not manage to attract a huge crowd and as a result the future of the event could be in doubt after 2024.
The Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, to give it its full name, has been on the Formula 1 calendar since the very beginning of the Formula 1 World Championship back in 1950, only relinquishing the race in 1980 to Imola.
The ‘Temple of Speed’ is a favourite amongst the drivers but, for various reasons, attendance numbers have fallen in recent years, as this year ticket sales were lower than expected with just 16,000 sold for race day.
Scuderia Ferrari’s rather disappointing results and performance in recent years have certainly contributed to this situation, but at the same time high ticket prices, poor promotion and doing away with grass seating are also believed to be main causes for the low attendance at the Monza circuit.
The current situation means that Monza is not certain to have a future on the Formula 1 calendar, as confirmed by FIA president, and former Ferrari team boss, Jean Todt:
“Why so little public in Monza? During Friday’s qualifying I was disappointed looking at the stands” – Jean Todt said, as reported by Italian daily newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport – “I would be disappointed if there wasn’t at least one race in Italy on the Formula 1 calendar for the next few years. But it is a question to ask Stefano Domenicali.” – he explained.
At the same time Stefano Domenicali’s answer was also not very encouraging: “We are discussing with the organisers precisely to understand how to relaunch the grand prix” – said the Formula 1 CEO and former Ferrari team – “I find it hard to think of an F1 without Monza, but events are also business and there must be an economic return that justifies them.
Monza is certain of its Formula 1 future until at least the end of 2024 having signed a new five-year contract back in 2019.
Speaking at the time, then F1 chief Chase Carey said: “This is one of four grands prix that were part of the 1950 championship and still features in the calendar and along with the British Grand Prix, it is the only one to have been held every year since then.
“History, speed and passion are words that motorsport fans associate with Monza.”
That association may not be enough to save Monza unless fans start attending the grand prix.