Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn has called for FOM to stop chasing maximum profits and instead realise that F1 has greater value than its monetary worth.
Her comments follow a heated debate involving fans, media, drivers and the sport’s bosses over the future of Monza’s place on the calendar, with many voices calling for Ecclestone to understand the importance of the venue to fans that goes over and above any increased race fee income.
Kalenborn spoke with Motorsport.com about her fears for fans and the future of F1’s classic race venues: “The value is simply not a financial one, and that is why this need to have more and more finances has to stop.”
“Everything is being dictated by money and we have been saying that for so long. Today it is Monza and for me it is just a matter of time before it is Monaco – and what then?
“Everyone says they want a heritage race, everyone wants Monaco, and a little while ago we had the so-called heritage races protected.
“But Germany is gone, you hear Monza struggling, you hear Spa struggling. And Monaco we know what the situation is. It has to stop. It really has to stop.”
Listening to fans
The GPDA Global Fan Survey 2015 that the vast majority of fans believe that retaining F1’s heritage through its traditional races is key to its future success and their support of the sport.
Monaco (75%), Monza (71%), Silverstone (68%), Spa (66%) and Hockenheim (65%) were ranked as the most important races for fans.
With FOM recording record profits and announcing a $1bn payout to its shareholders earlier this week, there is growing dissatisfaction from fans over the perceived greed of those governing F1, with many commentators believing that those in charge no longer have the sport’s best intentions at heart.
These sentiments were echoed by four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel following the Italian Grand Prix: “If we take this [race] away from the calendar for any shitty money reasons, then you are basically ripping our hearts out.”
It has previously been rumored that Ecclestone wants Monza to share the Italian Grand Prix with Imola. Not date has been set for when the situation may be resolved.