“I don’t think we have to have an Italian Grand Prix,” misguided elf-king of Formula One and infinitely wrong man Bernie Ecclestone told The Daily Mail. Tifosi, it’s time to get out those pitch forks and torches. Monza—historic wonderland and Ferrari’s home race Monza—could be replaced by Las Vegas.
Ecclestone told The Daily Mail that the organizers for a new grand prix in Las Vegas already have a contract with F1. However, he explained that they’re not looking to add any more races to the schedule, so one will have to move:
We have got 21 races now. It could go more, but I don’t think it will. It’s enough. Some of the guys at the teams are shattered. [Las Vegas grand prix organizers] have a contract. Vegas would be super.
I’m all for another race in the United States so long as they schedule it far enough away from the existing United States Grand Prix so that both events have a fighting chance.
What I do mind is which race Ecclestone insinuates could come off the calendar to make way for Vegas:
Monza has got a contract for this year so it is going to go ahead. Next year is the question mark. I don’t think we have to have an Italian Grand Prix. Somebody once told me a funny thing that you couldn’t have Formula 1 without a race in France. But we do.
This. This right here. THIS is why people keep rage-quitting F1.
Yes, Formula One needs to cultivate new markets and bring races to new locations. However, as the home grand prix to one of the most rabid fanbases on the planet, I can’t see any move away from hosting an Italian Grand Prix working out all that well.
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel said it best in remarks made after the Italian Grand Prix last year:
If you take Monza away from the calendar for any shitty money reasons, you are basically ripping our hearts out.
Monza has been struggling with financial issues for a while, putting their contract for the Italian Grand Prix in question.
Given the choice between Las Vegas and Monza, I’d honestly rather keep Monza. It’s one of the craziest venues on the schedule, and not even the rowdiest cornball Vegas bachelor party can’t go up against Ferrari’s home crowd.