As the F1 world gathers in Montreal, the future of the popular Canadian grand prix remains in doubt.
Two months ago, race promoter Francois Dumontier said it was “urgent” that a new deal beyond 2014 be agreed before this year’s grand prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. He said negotiations with Bernie Ecclestone for a new ten-year contract are taking place, but there are “still no signatures”. According to the French-language newspaper La Presse, all parties need to agree, including Dumontier, Ecclestone and the various levels of government who help the fund the race. “Negotiations are going very well,” said a spokesperson for Dominique Vien, the new tourism minister of Quebec. “The change of government has not had a negative impact. We will announce it when everyone is ready.”
Denis Coderre, the mayor of Montreal, also commented: “I am keen to resolve the issue for the next ten years. Things are going well. “In time, we’ll make announcements,” he said. “But everyone is talking and things are progressing very well. We must let time take its course.” It is reported that F1 chief executive Ecclestone is demanding improvements to the ageing circuit and facilities, and a mandatory 4 per cent annual indexation of the new 10-year race fee. Promoter Dumontier said on Tuesday: “All parties are continuing the discussions and I would like to think that an announcement will be made soon.”
Image: Renault Motorsport