Saturday April 14th, 2001
No Easter mass will be celebrated at the San Marino Grand Prix circuit on Sunday on the orders of the local bishop.
"I have followed the bishop's orders," race chaplain Sergio Mantovani, who had been due to say mass at the track, told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.
Local organisers confirmed there would be no service.
"Easter is an explosion of faith, it is better to celebrate it in our community rather than in the open, among people who are distracted or are working even," said Mantovani.
Mantovani recalled his anger at what happened when he said mass at Imola and late Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna, who died at the track in 1994, and his arch rival Alain Prost turned up.
"Behind them there was a great queue of fans who were there only to see the two drivers," he said. "I got cross and told everybody they did not have to continue with the service."