INTERVIEW

ANGELO STICCHI DAMIANI: MONZA IS IMPORTANT TO F1!

With engines off for the summer break, www.Minardi.it has had the pleasure of meeting President of ACI Angelo Sticchi Damiani to comment along with him this first months of Aci Team Italia, and, of course, the future of the Italian GP at Monza.

This year you launched the Aci Team Italia Rally and Speed. On the front of speed we have Ghiotto and Marciello engaged respectively in GP3 and GP2 with Trident team. Can we make a first assessment?
The gained results clearly suggest that we are on the high road and we can say we achieved two important victory from now on. The first is against skepticism which has affected this project from the start. Always the same people. In particular some on line magazines passed from an initial irony to a general no-comment. Even so, I don’t expect any support from them. The majority of media and “authorized personnel” have soon understood that it was about the first steps of a serious project that will gain great results in the very near future. We achieved the second victory on the field making sure that the two guys at Trident could have a financial and communication support. So they could face as best as they can the season and gain good, sometimes excellent, results.

Talking of young, Marciello and Fuoco took part in the F1 tests driving a Ferrari. Luca Ghiotto instead, leading GP3 general standings, was called by Red Bull to test their F1 simulator. A good result for the Federal School. How do you judge the program?
For the Federal School and Aci (the Italian federation sport automotive, as we must remember) the achieved results are just the starting point which deeply empowers us for the future and engages us to keep on giving our best efforts to lead one or more Italian drivers to F1 as soon as possible.

Italian motor sport is having a good time. Other Italian drivers engaged in most important International Championship are also getting substantial results both on single-seated front and GT.
This is the outcome of Aci’s strategy conducted through formative stages and FDA.What does we miss to reach F1 and what will be the next steps to assist this guys in the best way?
I don’t want to sound too optimistic , but from my point of view, we don’t miss anything and we are ready to get the goal that we have set ourselves. What are the next steps? Keep hard working with minor categories to find new talents and to enhance supports, including economical ones, towards the most deserving drivers.

You have been the first to embrace the project of F4 that was deeply wanted by FIA.This year we reached the second chapter of Italian F4 Championship powered by Abarth. What do you think about these Championship and project?
Yes, we first understood the importance of this project, and we first started. So we pointed out to others the way, even for technical choices. The Championship is having a good moment and its fame crosses national borders, as is shown by the participation of several foreign drivers. Again, we need to go on because it is through this formula that we’ll gain our future champions.

In 2016 we’ll celebrate the centenary of Targa Florio, but the contract between F1 and Monza will expire. What can you say about Italian GP?
I can say that our main goal is the confirmation of Italian GP at Monza. We are working in every directions attempting to make every protagonist understand not just the value of the GP itself due to its history and technical past, but also the great future benefits that all this can hand over F1. Unfortunately the recent cancellation of historical races taught us to look ahead to make everybody understand how having a GP in Monza could benefit us also from an economical point of view. F1 is having a bad moment on the front of audience and show.

What is your recipe to raise again the show and re-attract the audience?
Unfortunately we are accustomed to sectorial analysis that cause us to loose the overall view and also the right way to face the problems. It is the whole race world, save some sporadic exceptions, that is facing this crossing point to new way of making and enjoying this show. There aren’t any easy recipes. Sure, we need not to make errors like cancel Monza GP where love and passion towards F1 are assured to approach new region economically more favorable.

Downfall started with the introduction of these Power-Unit, also because “the little noise”. F1 is the right stage for this technology or it would be better to use the FIA WEC? Turbo and Hybrid will be the future for standards cars?
I don’t believe that the downfall started with the introduction of Power-Unit and surely F1 is the right theater for every new technology. Hybrid, in my point of view, is an essential step even in the present of standards cars. In the last months, security return on spotlight, a living argument even on our roads.

As ACI, what kind of campaign are you conducting? And what can we do to teach young to enjoy in moderation?
The battle for road security is a strong point for Automobile Club Italia’s action. Initiatives like Sara Safe Factor, for example, lead ten thousands girls and boys just licensed, to talk about road safety with drivers and auto sport men. But we can also think to Kart in Piazza where we start to talk about road safety to children letting them play with little karts on safe routes. Our activity is determined also in politics. There are our ideas and projects behind new initiatives. Unluckily we have still to realize that with 3000 deaths per year and hundred thousands injured we are facing a real war. Everybody should probably become aware of that.