Green light given to Rome grand prix

Formula one commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone has given the green light to plans to host a grand prix on the streets of Rome in 2012 or 2013, according to race organiser Maurizio Falmmini. An F1 world championship event in the Italian capital has been in the planning for approximately 18 months and Flammini has revealed that a deal has been struck with Ecclestone which should bring the plans to life. "The agreement with F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone to give life to the Rome grand prix has already been done and signed," said Falmmini. "The appropriate course still has to be defined."The Italian grand prix is currently held at the historic and evocative Monza circuit and there were concerns that Rome would replace the circuit, which has been a regular feature on the F1 calendar since 1922.But, the mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno said: "We think the Rome grand prix would be very important and we are in favour of it. "And it's not true that it is an alternative to Monza. "Monza is a grand prix on the circuit, and the grand prix of Rome is integrative to that of Monza, it's not a replacement."We have calculated that there will be an income of €1bn [£900m] a year with this grand prix and Rome needs to renew its tourist appeal. "Not only the past, archaeology and monuments, but also the future, something which is aimed at families and youngsters."