No Canadian GP on 2009 F1 calendar

The 2009 F1 calendar has no space for the Canadian Grand Prix

The 2009 F1 calendar has no space for the Canadian Grand Prix

The Canadian Grand Prix has been dropped from the 2009 F1 calendar in a shock move as the FIA published full details of next year’s schedule.

No reason has been given for the deletion of the Montreal race, held at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

The Canadian round has been plagued by problems with its surface at recent races, which were especially severe during this year’s Grand Prix.

But there had been no prior indication that the round might be dropped. The race was on the provisional 2009 F1 calendar. It was last missing from the calendar in 1987 due to sponsorship reasons.

Canada’s absence means next year’s calendar has 18 races instead of 19.

The FIA has not explained why the Canadian round has been dropped. It’s one of the most popular and well-attended races on the F1 calendar, held at a distinctive track which has been part of the F1 calendar for three decades.

Canada has loads of dedicated F1 fans and even though it hasn’t had an F1 driver since Jacques Villeneuve two years ago they’ve continued to support their Grand Prix. It’s a terrible shame Montreal is no longer on the calendar, and that F1 now has no North American round at all.

2009 F1 calendar

Rnd Date Event Circuit
1 27-29 March Australian Grand Prix Albert Park, Mebourne
2 3-5 April Malaysian Grand Prix Sepang International Circuit
3 17-19 April Bahrain Grand Prix Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir
4 8-10 May Spanish Grand Prix Montmelo, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
5 21-24 May Monaco Grand Prix Monte-Carlo
10 5-7 June Turkish Grand Prix Istanbul Park
6 19-21 June British Grand Prix Silverstone
7 26-28 June French Grand Prix Magny-Cours
8 10-12 July German Grand Prix Nurburgring
9 24-26 July Hungarian Grand Prix Hungaroring
11 21-23 August European Grand Prix Valencia Street Circuit
12 28-30 August Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps
13 11-13 September Italian Grand Prix Autodromo Nazionale Monza
14 25-27 September Singapore Grand Prix Singapore Street Circuit (night race)
15 9-11 October Japanese Grand Prix Suzuka
16 16-18 October Chinese Grand Prix Shanghai International Circuit
17 30 October – 1 November Brazilian Grand Prix Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, Interlagos, Sao Paulo
18 13-15 November Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Yas Island

2009 F1 season
2009 F1 calendar

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96 comments on No Canadian GP on 2009 F1 calendar

  1. Pride said on 8th October 2008, 0:25

    I agree with george k. This is the bill of Max Mosley with interest rates included for calling for his resignation. But I beleive it will be back.

  2. Why does F1 make it so hard to be a fan of F1 in North America! We just fought for our race two years ago.

  3. Rabi said on 8th October 2008, 3:30

    Looking at it from another angle, and one that has not been mentioned is could the Montreal Grand Prix have been withdrawn by the organisers?

    Considering that Normand Legault (promoter) had a contract secured until 2011 it seems a bit weird for it to be called off, surely he could sue the FIA/FOM/CVC for breaching a contract? Unless of course its on the grounds of track safety but then surely 1 year is enough to repair the track?

    According to the National Post Normand Legault will be making a statement later today.

  4. Rabi said on 8th October 2008, 3:37

    I wonder if the track has been removed due to tarmac repairs as keith speculated here:
    http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2008/06/13/canadian-grand-prix-circuit-may-change-for-2009-but-will-it-be-necessary/

    I’m also wondering if Bernie will tinker with one of the 3 week gaps if there is some kind of deadline for the repair work to be done thereby a late inclusion into the calender, might be wishful thinking on my part :(

  5. Gman said on 8th October 2008, 4:04

    Rabi, I for sure do not have all the details but from the reports I read, the promoters and circuit staff at CGV had no idea that their race was being dropped before they heard about it through the same media channels you and I use. As such, I think we can rule out any chance that they pulled the plug on their own race- if they did, then this is one heck of a cover job!

    On the race surface, clearly there were some issues this year with it breaking up- here in the Northeast U.S. the asphalt surfaces suffer greatly from the winter cold and I would imagine it would be much worse up north in Montreal. However I would be suprised if that was the reason for today’s developments, as Bernie and Max have had plenty of time to pepper the promoters with their usual threats and barbs since the GP was held in June.

    We will see what emerges about this issue in the days and weeks ahead, and I’m sure we’ll all be watching our respective nation’s TV coverage of the entire GP weeeknd in Japan- let’s see if Peter Windsor presses Bernie on this as well as he did on the 2010 USGP rumours a few weeks back. Also, let’s see what comes out from the team bosses and directors, particurally Honda’s Nick Fry. who has been an adament defender of the North American market for some time now.

  6. Daniel #62: In the brazilian press, this fact was commented as a result of F1 cutting-costs measures, because, once the US Grand Prix was dropped, it became to expensive to head to North American for an one-off race in the middle of the European season… have you heard anything about that?

    Thats a fair point, it does seem a bit of a waste of money to go all that way for one race – but wait, couldn’t a race or two in the USA help with that? A little positive thinking from Bernie and Max might be useful here…..
    And if its too expensive to travel to Canada, is Brazil really worth it? Or even Austrailia?
    Keith, it would be good if you can track down whether this has come from Bernie, or Max, or both, or even their various opponents, before we go too far….
    And why all the gaps in the calendar? Are there going to be late announcements about India or Qatar?

  7. sven duva said on 8th October 2008, 9:47

    I don’t buy that cost-cutting theory. MotoGP can go twice to the U.S. and twice to Asia in a season. It’s all about who can build the biggest paddock. The quality of the track, the atmosphere, the tradition has nothing to do with it anymore. I see a future were F1 travels back and forth between night-races at Playstation-like tracks and temporary street circuits in Southern Europe, Middle East, and South-East Asia. No way Brazil, Australia, France, UK or Belgium will host a race in the future. Just look at it now. Two races almost at walking distance from each other on the Malacka peninusla, and none at all in North America,

  8. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th October 2008, 10:49

    Grandprix.com reckons the only explanation can be that the promoter did not pay the bill.

  9. ajokay said on 8th October 2008, 11:43

    Keith,

    surely if each of us readers of F1 Fanatic throw a few quid/dollers/euros into a kitty, we can start up our own racing series with classic tracks, possible overtaking and a sensible management?

    It would be waaaaay better than what F1 is clearly becoming.

  10. Stealthman said on 8th October 2008, 13:00

    This is an outrage! I’ve made up my mind now: Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA are nothing more that a bunch of old fogies who only have one thing in mind: Money, money, money! Montreal is one of my favourite F1 tracks, past and present, and I can’t help but wonder, what’s next off the calendar? Monza? Melbourne? Or, God forbid, Spa? And, is the threat of a breakaway series about to become a reality? In my view, like the tarmac at Montreal this year, F1 is crumbling and breaking up. And it’s only a matter of time before someone spins off and crashes.

    On a lighter note, I for one support ajokay’s idea of our own F1 Fanatic championship! I’d have Adelaide or Bathurst on that calendar, please! :D

  11. Bobby said on 8th October 2008, 16:48

    This decision by the FIA is absurd.

    A Vegas street race wouldn’t cut it when Bruton Smith has enough property to make his training school road course into F1-spec. They’d just build new grandstands, pit complex, and paddock areas with that track that Skip Barber uses. SMI (Bruton’s company, NYSE : TRK) has enough property to turn his club track at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway complex (there are five tracks — full speedway oval and stadium road course, drag strip, small tarmac oval, small dirt oval, and club road course that’s over FIA minimum length). But Bernie and Bruton wouldn’t see each other well because he’d want another Neon Garage style paddock and Pit Boss (the track’s pair of dice mascot) hanging around the paddock.

    The pavement problems at Montréal are also a byproduct of last year’s NAPA Pièces d’Auto 200 presentée par Dodge, where pavement breakup became an issue headed towards the hairpin with the 1,500kg Nationwide Series saloons. The pavement was reworked after that incident. Martinsville Speedway in the 1970′s went to concrete turns to solve a similar problem with their hairpin-tight turns — the concrete lasted nearly 30 years before it started to break up.

    Sponsors aren’t happy about dropping Canada. ING has a huge investment in North America, last year buying Sharebuilder, an online discount brokerage. Santander was interested in Wachovia before the current bidding war happened and has minority interest in Sovreign Bank in Pennsylvania. RBS has a few sponsorships in the same state (Citizens Bank Park). AT&T is based in San Antonio, TX. And of course, you have Vodafone, which owns 40% of Cellco Partnership (mobile phone company with Verizon). Exxon Mobil is based in Dallas.

  12. If fly away costs to Canada are a rationale for dropping the venue, then Brazil must be next in line as well.

    I still say it’s Spanky getting back at his “enemies”.

    Time for corporate governance as opposed to Max who treats the sport as his personal play pen, sans hookers.

  13. Bobby, that’s a bunch of great info- thanks very much for the insights!! I had never considered the Skip Barber idea before now- it makes sense but if Bernie is indeed going to go to Vegas, I don;t know if he could resist the allure of trying a Valencia/Singapore-style deal with allt hsoe fancy casinos in the background. I also never knew Santander has a minority stake in Sovreign- that bank was founded by a fellow Wilkes Univeristy alum who now has his name on the business school.

    Depressing article from Grandprix.com- there are of couse many similarities to Indy, but it seems very odd that if the GP was in financial difficulties, that it would just suddenly fold up and disappear with no warning given to the promoters. I don’t know how much of a role either Bernie or Max had in the whole thing, but from what I can see the teams had been rininging Bernie’s bell on two issues recently….

    1. The importance of the North American market
    2. Keeping the 3-week break and reducing/limiting the number of races

    Putting those two factors together, Bernie probably cooked up a way to spite the teams and said “Hey, I’ll be a nice guy and give you your break back. But there’s no free lunch in my cafe, and you’re going to play by my rules, which means I put one of MY races in to replace the last obstacle to me taking F1 away from the uninterested North American market”

    At the end of the day, you’ve got two of the world’s leading industrial, political and military powers- both members of the G8 group of nations- who have both lost their GPs in successive seasons, and the entire Western hemisphere is left with one- ONE- GP!! I’m sure this wekeend in Fuji you’ll see a group of team reps- led by Nick Fry and Dr. Mario- kick down the door to Bernie’s hospitality unit and demand answers about the whole deal, but I doubt it will produce any real change now that the deal is done for 2009.

  14. pSynrg said on 8th October 2008, 22:20

    As amusing as ‘Spanky’ is as a name I think ‘Der Führer’ more appropiate?

  15. Linda N said on 9th October 2008, 1:10

    I think this statement from another F1 fan sums it all up!!!!

    F1 leadership seems to be convinced that it doesn’t need North America. No drivers, no teams, and now, no races. Admittedly, with NASCAR, they are facing stiff competition. Soccer (football) seems to do just fine without a significant presence here, so the authorities may be right. Compounding things is F1′s reputation state-side…start with the Indy debacle, the perceived “elitist” attitudes, the lack of passing on track, and the shoddy treatment of Scott Speed. Those are a lot of negatives to overcome. Perhaps too many.

    Nevertheless, you’d think that the manufacturers would have a little self-interest in mind. Sure, Ferrari will sell every car they send to the US, but how about BMW and Mercedes?

    I think that we need to lean more on BMW and Mercedes in letting them know how we feel in North America. They have a web site that people have been leaving comments all day http://www.bmw.com.

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