Good news! The overwhelmingly rosso corsa Italian Grand Prix will most likely stay on the calendar for the time being. However, Imola, not Monza, signed the contract with Bernie Ecclestone to host it, per Motorsport.com. Monza has hosted the Italian Grand Prix every year except one since F1's inaugural 1950 season.
Imola management entered into the contract with Ecclestone to host the Italian Grand Prix from 2017 onwards, however, Ecclestone needs to get approval from Italy’s national sporting authority (the Automobile Club d’Italia) before he can sign off on the swap.
Automobile Club d’Italia president Angelo Sticchi Daimiani has been in full support of Monza keeping the race, despite ongoing financial issues that are making it tougher and tougher to afford hosting F1. Meanwhile, Imola has been upgrading its facilities after the last time it hosted F1 in 2006, and they claim to be in excellent financial health.
The only time the Italian Grand Prix wasn’t at Monza was in 1980, when Monza was undergoing a major renovation. Imola stepped in then, and it looks like they could step in now that Monza is struggling financially. If it’s a question of an Italian Grand Prix at Imola or no Italian Grand Prix at all, then this is all reasonable, I suppose.
Either way, it’s hard not to have mixed feelings about this news. While Imola can be fun, too, it would be a shame to see F1 ditch one of their longest-running venues. Still, Ferrari would still have its home race, and F1 in Italy is always a blast.