Montreal mayor hopeful Canada F1 GP can be saved

Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:14pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay said he was hopeful the axed Canadian Formula One Grand Prix could be reinstated next year after meeting the sport's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone on Thursday.

"We've had a constructive meeting, we have a better understanding of the issues," he told reporters.

"We still have a lot of work to do to evaluate all the options, but it is still possible to hold the grand prix in Montreal in 2009 and subsequent years."

Tremblay was accompanied by Quebec economic development minister Raymond Bachand and federal international trade minister Michael Fortier.

The race at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was dropped from a revised calendar this month, leaving North America without a grand prix for the first time in 50 years.

Ecclestone told reporters at the Chinese Grand Prix last weekend that there was no way back for Canada next year, despite France subsequently dropping off the calendar for financial reasons.

"They want 17 races, the teams, and that's what they've got," he said.

Canadian Grand Prix organizers denied at the weekend that they had defaulted on payments owed to Ecclestone for past hosting rights.   Continued...