Motorsport: Rome Grand Prix looks unlikely

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has poured cold water on the prospect of Rome staging a grand prix in the near future.

A race through the streets of the Eternal City has long been on the agenda, although logistically there are difficulties.

Renowned circuit designer Hermann Tilke has proposed a track in the EUR (Esposizione Universale Roma) district, south of the city, but there is considerable opposition from local residents.

Domenicali, however, feels Formula One's own logistics will prove a barrier, believing an ever-growing calendar will ensure no country can host two grands prix per year.

With the Italian Grand Prix contracted to Monza through to 2016, Domenicali said: "Our position is very clear and leaves no room for interpretation.

"Our sport is increasingly expanding the number of countries hosting a grand prix and all the teams are in agreement about that. Therefore it is inevitable it will no longer be possible to have two races in the same nation.

"It's not the job of the teams who choose where a grand prix is held, that's up to the commercial rights holder. Everything else is pure speculation."

Meanwhile, Lotus Racing team principal Tony Fernandes has called for common sense to prevail after facing a barrage of criticism this week.

Following Group Lotus' announcement of a seven-year, multi-million pound sponsorship deal with Renault, a war of words has ensued over the brand name of Lotus.

With Fernandes re-naming his outfit Team Lotus for next season, the Malaysian entrepreneur has since come under fire from Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, Renault owner Gerard Lopez and team principal Eric Boullier.

"It has got too much," Fernandes said.

"Over the last few days I have had attacks from Dany Bahar, Eric Boullier and Gerard Lopez.

"Personally I think it has got a little bit out of hand and a lot of it is fabricated. How Eric Boullier can say we have fooled fans, I think that is an insult to fans.

"Fans will make up their own mind. If we're not up to the mark they will not give us any support."

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Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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