The news traditionalist Formula One fans feared most was confirmed this morning: Monza, the high-speed heritage circuit that has hosted a Grand Prix every season since 1950 (with the exception of 1980) has been scrapped from the F1 calendar.
From 2017, the Italian Grand Prix will be held at Imola, it too a high-speed and vintage track, but it's not Monza. Over the weekend, Bernie Ecclestone had warned Monza that it was in danger of losing the Italian GP if the track organisers didn't shape up. The F1 supremo has gone through with his words in spectacularly quick fashion.
Imola played host to the San Marino Grand Prix between 1981 and 2006, before it was scraped to make way for the return of the Belgian Grand Prix. The decision to cut Monza from the Formula One calendar is just the latest in what fans argue is the greedy-pursuit of money by F1 owners CVC. Supporters have bemoaned the move from classic European tracks such Magny-Cours, the Nurburgring and Monza in favour of lucrative deals with nations with no F1 heritage- chiefly Azerbaijan and the 'European Grand Prix' in Baku, Russia and its Sochi track, and the pivot towards hosting races in Middle Eastern deserts.
There is a glimmer of hope, however, for Monza enthusiasts; the decision to move the Italian Grand Prix to Imola needs the ratification of Italy's sporting authority. Although no hiccups are expected and the move should go ahead, Ecclestone has form for signing agreements and no going through with them- see Donington and New Jersey in more recent times.