Mike Stevens | Dec 22, 2009

ORGANISERS OF THE proposed Rome Grand Prix claim to have signed an agreement with Formula 1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone to stage a race around the city’s streets.

Event promoter Maurizio Flammini, who also runs the Superbike World Championship, said he hopes to hold the race through Rome’s Esposizione Universale precinct.

However, he doesn’t expect final approval of the race until midway through next year, with planners still to clear a number of potential hurdles.

“The first agreement has been signed. The details can't be disclosed, but it's a written confirmation that Bernie will support the GP in Rome,” he said to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We still need approval from the province, the region, the ACI (Automobile Club Italiano) and the FIA. I think we need seven or eight months more for those, it's a long administrative process.”

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Flammini said he hopes to have the circuit ready to host its first race in 2012, with August considered the ideal month to host the event.

He told newspaper La Repubblica: “The race in Rome wouldn't be on a street circuit because the roads at EUR are huge and would allow for a very high level of safety.

“We know the prospected year is 2012, even though it could even be brought forward if we build the structures in record time.

“We are working towards having a race in spring or fall, but sometime in August would have its advantages because there's no traffic in Rome during that month, and there is better availability with the hotels.”

Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno said the event doesn’t hope to replace current race at Monza, but instead enter the calendar as an additional Italian event, similar to the current scenario with Barcelona and Valencia.

“We think the Rome GP is very important and we are in favour of it. It's not an alternative to Monza, it's supplementary,” he said to La Repubblica.

But Monza mayor Marco Mariani slammed the plans, criticising the actions of the Italian capital.

“This is the latest act of arrogance from a parasite capital city that has lived for the last 2000 years with the oxygen stolen from the other towns,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

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