Rome's mayor Gianni Alemanno has formally abandoned the city's dream of holding a controversial Formula One race though the streets of its EUR district in the south of Rome from 2013.
The news was greeted with regret by project manager of the Rome race Maurizio Flammini and his supporters however organisers of the historic Monza Formula One in Lombardy can now breathe a sigh of relief as their event still reigns supreme as Italy's national race. The decision was made by Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone who declared that each participating country could only hold one race.
One option that supporters of the Rome race had been holding out for was the possibility of alternating every second year with Monza, however critics argue that challenging the internationally-celebrated Monza Grand Prix was always something of a non-starter.
Alemanno stated that all of the city's attention is now being focused on its bid to host the 2020 Olympics. In a renewed show of unity, the president of the Lombardy region and the mayor of Monza have declared their strong support for the initiative.