Canada Dropped from 2009 Calendar for Good

It is now official! Next year's F1 calendar will not be including the Canadian Grand Prix, as the Montreal officials confirmed late yesterday that an agreement between the North-American party and F1 supreme Bernie Ecclestone was not reached. Furthermore, Montreal's mayor Gerald Tremblay insisted that the main cause why Canadian fans will not have access to F1 action from no on was Bernie's 'unreasonable demands'.

“We were constantly guided in our negotiations by principles of responsible management. However, despite our endeavors and those of the business community, the unreasonable demands of Formula One exceeded the taxpayer's ability to pay. I would like to thank my colleagues from the federal and provincial governments and members of the business community who joined forces in an attempt to save the grand prix,” read the statement from Tremblay late yesterday.

He was also backed by Canadian minister of tourism Raymond Bachand, who also reckoned they were unable to match Ecclestone's demands for hosting the events in the upcoming seasons.

“We worked very hard over the past few weeks to ensure there would be a grand prix in Montreal, while staying fiscally responsible. We cannot meet Mr. Ecclestone's unworkable demands. Unless he eases his requirements and adopts a different approach, there will be no grand prix in Montreal in 2009,” said Bachand.

According to the latest official correspondence between the Montreal officials and Ecclestone, the F1 boss asked for a minimum $26 million for hosting the event in 2009, after which the Canadian sponsor/officials should have paid an extra 5% of that per year for the remaining 4 years of contract.

Previous to this proposal from the F1 supreme, the Montreal officials – mayor and government representatives – have traveled all the way to London in an effort to reinstate the Canadian Grand Prix back on the F1 map. Nevertheless, Bernie argued that Canada had already increasing debts towards FIA from the previous 3 events and that the only way he'd consider a comeback in the F1 calendar would be if the Canadian officials came up with the necessary funds to cover for those losses in the upcoming years.

Following this latest statement from the Montreal officials, F1 will more than likely have only 17 stops in the 2009 calendar. French officials previously confirmed they won't be able to financially support an F1 event at Magny-Cours for 2009 and are expected to forward FIA a proposal for 2010 any time soon.
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