Motor Racing: Berlusconi is urged to save Monza race

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The Independent Online
A GROUP of parliamentarians yesterday urged the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, to make a last-ditch effort to ensure that Italy's Formula One Grand Prix takes place next month.

Deputies from the three main parties in Berlusconi's coalition went to the Prime Minister to try to persuade him to intervene to save the historic race, at Monza on 11 September.

The Grand Prix was called off for safety reasons following the deaths of Ayrton Senna of Brazil and Roland Ratzenberger of Austria during the San Marino Grand Prix meeting at Imola.

'We ask that the cabinet adopt concrete technical and legal solutions to allow the running of the race at Monza, which has taken place since 1922,' the deputies said in a statement. The statement asked Berlusconi to take immediate action at a cabinet meeting set for tomorrow.

Promoters had been trying to put the race back on the calendar but the latest solution to make the track safer, by chopping down 524 trees around its dangerous 'Great Curve', was knocked down by Italy's environment and culture ministers last week.