Rome F1 grand prix idea faces city opposition

Rome`s idea to host a Formula One grand prix does not have overwhelming support from city residents and a decision on whether to proceed will be made soon, mayor Gianni Alemanno said on Thursday.

Organisers want a race through the streets of the EUR district from 2012 or 2013 and a letter of intent has been signed with F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

"A majority, albeit not an overwhelming one, of EUR and Rome residents are in favour of the race," Alemanno told a news conference, adding a decision on whether to go ahead would made before the end of the year when the letter of intent runs out.

Ecclestone has been busy adding new races to F1 with the inaugural South Korean Grand Prix taking place last weekend.

Next year`s calendar will have a record 20 races including the new Indian Grand Prix and when asked last year about Rome, Ecclestone said too many places wanted new races.

Organisers of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza are against the idea of Rome having a race, even though Rome has said it wants Italy to have both events, while F1 pundits are sceptical about the chances of the Eternal City getting on the calendar.

Bureau Report