Jun.10 (GMM) A swig of Heineken with an Italian twist could have boosted Monza’s chances of staying on the F1 calendar.
Rumours the Dutch beer brewer would sponsor a team were wide of the mark, but it was announced on Thursday that F1’s new $200m sponsor will race into the sport at Monza in September for the ‘Formula 1 Gran Premio Heineken D’Italia’.
It will be in addition to Heineken naming rights at two other races, but Bernie Ecclestone admitted it could be a special boost for Monza amid the Italian venue’s troubled negotiations for a new deal for 2017 and beyond.
“It is probably going to help,” the F1 supremo said in Montreal.
The fact that Monza has been chosen for the sponsorship debut is probably no coincidence, as Italian Gianluca di Tondo, a senior Heineken director, confirmed.
“But this (a new deal for Monza) is a decision that only Bernie can take,” he said.
Ecclestone, meanwhile, was on Thursday sounding less upbeat about the future of the popular Canadian grand prix, revealing he is disappointed that efforts to improve the ageing circuit facilities have so far not borne any fruit.
“Probably the contract’s in doubt,” he said. “When you have a contract, normally the terms are set out in what people are supposed to do, both sides. It’s been forgotten a little bit from the city.”