Drivers back Monza to remain on F1 calendar
4 July 2014 – Formula 1 drivers have voiced their support for Monza after Bernie Ecclestone hinted that its days on the calendar could be drawing to a close.
Monza has only been absent from the calendar for one year since the inauguration of the championship in 1950, but Ecclestone revealed earlier this week that the current contract was not suitable and that it may drop off the calendar for 2017.
But several drivers believe that the Italian track must remain in the championship.
"Obviously it's one of the races like here [Silverstone] with a lot of fans. I think it would be a stupid idea for Formula 1 [to drop it]," said Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen. "Hopefully it won't happen but we are not the ones who decide it."
"It's an iconic circuit, [there's] so much history," said Jenson Button. "The fans love the sport, they'll do anything for it. They're there to support a certain team, but that's great to see as they're so patriotic. It's a great circuit, [it] always throws up a good race so [it'll be] a shame not to be on the calendar."
"The sport won't exist if it's not for the fans, there's obviously business decisions to make but there's tracks where there's no-one in the stands," said Lewis Hamilton. "There's special places like Monza where the stands are full, we need to keep it in the sport."
"I don't like the thought of it," replied Nico Hülkenberg when asked about Monza potentially dropping off the calendar. "Tracks like this [Silverstone], Monza, Nurburgring, are tracks that should stay on the calendar. Historical tracks with great character and a lot of fans and support. From my perspective I'd like to keep it."
"It's a shame as it's one of the most important races," added Adrian Sutil. "[I'm] not so happy. It's one of my favourites in the calendar, because of the history and the atmosphere. It's quite unique."