Canada Comes to Europe to Rescue GP

All is not lost for the Canadian Grand Prix. Despite the recent controversy around axing the Montreal race from the F1 calendar in 2009, Canadian officials are determined to do whatever it takes to reinstate the event as soon as next year.

According to Montreal radio station CJAD, city mayor Gerald Tremblay, along with Canadian federal minister of international trade Michael Fortier and a local Quebec minister will head to London for a series of talks with F1 supreme Bernie Ecclestone.

Fortier argued earlier this week that the disappearance of the Canadian Grand Prix for 2009 came as a surprise for all North American officials as the deal with FIA on hosting the race was based on a 5-year period. With 3 years left to go, Canada is still very much willing to continue hosting the event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

“There are three years left on it. I believe on the basis of the contract we can move forward. It is a surprise to me that we've come to this situation. We will do whatever we can to see that the grand prix stays in Montreal,” Canadian media quoted Fortier.

Ecclestone argued that the Canadian Grand Prix was thrown out of the 2009 calendar due to both financial debts over the last 3 years and the fact that it is organized by a private company wanting to make a profit out of it. Nevertheless, Canadian GP official Paul Wilson denied such allegations earlier this week, stating that Canada were on their way to resolve their financial problems in time for the 2009 event.

“We were working hard to resolve the matter in order to meet our 2008 obligations when Mr. Ecclestone, without notice, surprised everyone by unilaterally dropping the Canadian grand prix from the 2009 FIA schedule. It is totally untrue to suggest that our organisation has defaulted on payments owed for the past three years,” said Wilson.
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