The Italian Almanac

Imola circuit

Italian News - August 30

The San Marino Grand Prix, one of two Formula 1 races traditionally held in Italy each year, was excluded on Tuesday from the sport's official calendar for 2007. Italian fans had expected that the San Marino race, held at the Imola circuit for the last 26 years, would be scheduled for April 29 and be the fourth grand prix of the season.

Sagis, the company which manages the Imola track, downplayed the news, saying the exclusion was temporary and connected to scheduled restructuring of the circuit's facilities. It said it had assurances from Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone that the race would be restored to the calendar when the restructuring work began.

The shape of the calendar issued by Formula 1's governing body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), appeared to support that claim. Normally grands prix are spaced at intervals of two weeks and the list of race dates appeared to have a gap on April 29, the expected San Marino date. It passed directly from the Bahrain Grand Prix on April 15 to the Spanish Grand prix a month later.

"Everything seems to have been arranged so as to tell us: if you put things straight, you'll still have your place," said Imola Mayor Massimo Marchignoli.