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‘Political’ Rome GP saga rolls on

The prospects for a grand prix in Rome in the near future looked clouded on Monday.

Bernie Ecclestone said ten days ago that plans for a race in the Italian capital are “moving forward”.

“That is going to be good,” the F1 chief executive told the Telegraph, explaining he is eyeing a debut date in 2013.

“It’s a bit political, obviously,” added Ecclestone.

The political element is powered by F1’s historic Italian date at Monza, with its supporters fearing Rome could ultimately be a replacement.

“Without Monza, it’s not F1,” Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo is quoted on Monday by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“That event is the past, the present and the future.  And a move to Rome is not going to happen,” added the Italian.

The same publication quoted FIA president Jean Todt as adding: “Is it conceivable to have two grands prix of Italy?  I would say no.

“I would say that in the future an Italian and a European grand prix could coexist, but this will depend on the programme and by the processing of applications from the promoter,” added the Frenchman.