Mike Stevens | Jan 21, 2011

Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno has announced the city is taking "a step back" with its plans for a Formula One race on the streets of the EUR district.

Although formerly supportive of the plans, Bernie Ecclestone last week wrote to Alemanno warning that with Monza already on the calendar, F1 had no room for two Italian rounds per season.

That was interpreted as the start of negotiations to annually alternate Rome and Monza, but Alemanno has announced that Rome should now turn most of its focus towards bidding for the 2020 Olympics.

"The road has not been completely closed, but the interests of our city must be compatible with the national ones," La Repubblica newspaper quotes him as saying.

Regarding F1, Rome will "take a step back", Alemanno added, revealing that there "will be a press conference in the coming days".

He called on the government to now make a "stronger commitment regarding the 2020 Olympics", insisting that the event "as a target for Rome is not just ambitious but achievable".

Alemanno suggested that talks about a cooperation between Rome and Monza regarding F1 did not bear fruit.

"We have always maintained contact with the mayor of Monza, with the ministers of the north and all those of the Lombardy region.

"I have to say that we never found a great dialogue, even when we stressed that if it was a choice between Monza and Rome then we would pull back," he said.

(GMM)

 

Willi Weber Wants To Be Vettel's Manager

F1's most famous driver manager has said he would like to add new World Champion Sebastian Vettel to his stable.

Although now only handling some of Michael Schumacher's merchandising and sponsors, Willi Weber became famous for taking 20 percent of the lucrative earnings throughout the seven-time World Champion's meteoric first career.

Multi-millionaire Weber, 68, now handles young German Nico Hulkenberg, but in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport he singled out Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel as the best current drivers in F1.

Asked if he would like to manage one of the trio, he answered: "Vettel, of course."

German Vettel, who won the 2010 title at the age of just 23, has never employed a full-time manager, relying instead on a lawyer to review contracts and some help from his father Norbert.

But Weber insists: "Now he needs a manager more than ever, because he needs to sell his success.

"It's all about the money he can make outside of the cockpit now," he added.

(GMM)

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