Italian governing body questions Monza boss

A spat has emerged between Italy’s motor racing sanctioning body, and the Italian grand prix venue Monza.

The existing head of the circuit’s operator Sias, Enrico Ferrari, has stepped down amid an investigation into his behaviour.

His successor is Fabrizio Turci, but it is clear the president of the Automobile Club d’Italia – Angelo Sticchi Damiani – is no admirer.

“I am concerned about the grand prix of Italy,” he is quoted as saying.

“I do not think Turci has the experience to handle the organisation of this event,” Sticci Damiani is quoted by Italian media.


Italian authorities probing Monza safety

Local authorities are investigating organisers of the Italian grand prix at Monza.

Last month, the World Superbike races at the fabled circuit were cut short due to rain and ensuing crashes. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that local prosecutors are looking into whether the circuit was to blame for installing a sub-standard track surface.

It is believed rider Marco Melandri has already been interviewed by the investigators, who reportedly suspect the organisers knew the surface was not adequate. Melandri had said after one of the May races: “There are different tarmacs on the track. While the new tarmac doesn’t allow for the water to drain away, the old asphalt is different and dries up very quickly.”

The Corriere della Sera newspaper said Monza’s technical boss Stefano Tremolada exercised his right to remain silent.

We reported last month that Italy’s finance police raided Monza amid suspicions of tax offenses, false invoicing and other discrepancies in relation to Sias SpA, the circuit operator, between 2007 and 2012.


Heidfeld quickest at Monza, Kubica the real test

heidfeldUnder pressure driver Nick Heidfeld went quickest on the second day of testing at Monza sending a stark message of intent to BMW Sauber’s senior management. But the real test will come today on the third and final day of running in the Ardenne, as team-mate Robert Kubica takes to the track.

Heidfeld has been struggling to match the pace of Kubica throughout 2008, and in Valencia the best he could muster was ninth, after Kubica took BMW Sauber back on to the podium in third place.

The Hinwil and Munich based outfit have yet to renew Heidfeld’s contract which expires at the end of the year. Kubica, on the hand, is widely believed to have inked a deal to stay at the team for 2009.

Heidfeld’s 1:22.621 around the Monza circuit yesterday which put him on the top of the timesheets will no doubt be seen as a response to BMW Sauber’s implicit hurry up call.

It remains to be seen how his time will fare up against Robert Kubica who takes to the track for BMW Sauber today, working on setup for the low downforce demands of Spa and Monza.

At the end of day two, Heidfeld wound up two tenths clear of William’s Nico Rosberg who was followed by Heikki Kovalainen and Sebastian Vettel.

“Today Nick Heidfeld concentrated on setup work with regards to the upcoming Italian Grand Prix,” said BMW Sauber in a statement.

“Working on the low down force configuration for the Monza race the team tried different aerodynamic solutions.”

“Running without major technical problems Heidfeld also sampled the tyre options for the Italian Grand Prix. Again the team made good progress concluding Heidfeld s part of the Monza test.”

Monday’s pace-setter Felipe Massa ended the day fifth after spinning into the gravel at the Ascari chicane.