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F1: 10 more years for Canada GP

2014-06-08 19:51

OH, CANADA! F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone and Montreal authorities have come to an agreement to extend the Canadian GP for 10 more years. Image: AFP/Emmanuel Dunand.

MONTREAL, Canada - The Canadian Grand Prix will remain on the calendar for the next 10 years, Montreal authorities said on Saturday after announcing an agreement in principal with Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

The new deal envisages nearly the equivalent of R291-million being spent on a major revamp of the track and paddock infrastructure at the ageingGilles Villeneuve circuit, considered one of the championship's most outdated.

Montreal mayor Denis Coderre told reporters ahead of qualifying at the island track that the agreement, yet to be signedby municipal, federal and provincial authorities, was a formality.


Coderre said: "If we had the authority to announce the agreement it is because we have the full support of our people. Regarding Ecclestone and ourselves, everything is OK. Because it is taxpayers' money we have to go through the political process but for us it is a formality."

Three levels of government will invest the equivalent of R1.9-billion over the next 10 years to keep the race in Montreal with the government of Canada and Tourism Montreal each throwing in the equivalent of R659-million, Quebec R527-million and Montreal R131-million.

The City of Montreal will also pay for the renovations.

The Canadian GP has been held in Montreal since 1978 and has become one of the most popular events on the F1 calendar for fans, drivers and teams.

It is also one of the most successful sporting events in Canada, pouring an estimated equivalent of R739-million annually into the local economy.


Coderre said: "You can feel the passion all over the place. It is not just a business deal. This is the place of Gilles Villeneuve, Jacques Villeneuve. It is part of our DNA and everybody feels that. We're not talking about expense, we are talking about investment. We are seeing that it is a window to the world."

Sunday's race was the last on the current contract and the new deal ends months of tense negotiations and speculation.

Read more on:    2014 canadain gp  |  canada  |  montreal  |  motorsport  |  formula 1  |  racing  |  f1

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