F1 chief warns Monza 'modernisation' must be done or else

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Monza will lose the Italian Grand Prix if "modernisation" work is not done, Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali warns.

The famed 'Temple of Speed' has hosted more F1 races than any other having only been absent from the calendar once since 1950.

But in its centenary year in 2022, Monza has shown signs of its age as fans complained about their experience during the recent race weekend.

A record 336,000 people attended, leading to long queues to enter the circuit, inadequate facilities and operations for refreshments and poor viewing areas.

Monza Fans

Monza later apologised for the issues, posting a statement on social media.

"Autodromo Nazionale Monza expresses its regret for the inconvenience of those who, among the many fans who flocked to the last Italian GP, encountered some inconveniences," it said.

"The structure and its people put their best efforts to create an event that surpassed all previous attendance records.

"For Autodromo Nazionale Monza, the experience of the fans is a priority aspect, and for this reason, a rigorous verification has been started, also with the partners, to ascertain and investigate the origin of any critical issues and take the consequent measures so that this does not happen again in the future."

Plans had been created to update Monza for its centenary but were later put on hold. However, F1 CEO Domenicali pounced on the problems to pressurise the event's organiser to now put those plans into action. 

"The [Italian] Grand Prix deserves to be on the calendar but, as I have said before, history is no longer enough to be able to secure your place in the F1 world championship today," he was quoted by Motorsport.com.

Domenicali Monza

"We expect the infrastructure improvement that we have defined, both for the teams and for the public, to be done.

"Covid has obviously brought forward other needs and other priorities, but now there are defined projects that must be carried out, and there is no more time.

"The works are needed for the modernisation of the venue and to help fans experience the Grand Prix in the best possible way.

"For the sake of a Grand Prix that deserves to be on the calendar, now we need the facts, and a definitive and clear plan of when the works already defined will start.

"The promoter knows this too," he concluded.

Monza currently has a contract with F1 until 2025, but as other historic venues at Spa-Francorchamps and Monaco have discovered, their long-term futures are now far from guaranteed.