December 18, 2017 / 9:53 PM / a year ago

Montreal cancels Formula E's season-ending races

(Reuters) - The Formula E electric series said on Monday it was taking legal action after the Mayor of Montreal canceled next year’s two season-ending Canadian races.

Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante speaks during the North American Climate Summit in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski

Mayor Valerie Plante, who was elected last month, had said during her campaign that she wanted the races to move to Formula One’s island track, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, or be scrapped.

“Montrealers have made it clear that we can’t waste their money on poorly planned projects that don’t serve them,” CBC News quoted Plante as saying on Monday.

The double-header scheduled for July 28 and 29 was due to be held on the east side of downtown Montreal but faced local opposition after poor ticket sales this year and the burden to taxpayers.

“We are very surprised and disappointed by the unilateral decision and announcement of the Mayor of Montreal,” Formula E said in a statement.

“This is a clear case of a new mayor undoing what the previous mayor did. Whilst there is a contract in place, we will not make further comments at this point as this is now in the hands of our Canadian legal counsel.”

A Formula E source said the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve had not been an option on the dates needed, due to renovation work and a festival, and there was now a real risk of the series failing to secure a replacement for its finale.

Formula E has already had to reschedule one round of its fourth season, with Uruguay’s Punta del Este replacing Sao Paulo.

The Brazilian city had been due to make its debut in the all-electric series on March 17 but it was postponed to 2019 because the city’s authorities are selling the planned venue.

If Montreal cannot be replaced, New York would become the finale on July 14-15. What was supposed to be a 14-race season started in Hong Kong on Dec. 2.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris

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