Efforts to save the Canadian Grand Prix for 2009 are officially over.
The mayor of Montreal said:
We were constantly guided in our negotiations by principles of responsible management. However, despite our endeavours and those of the business community, the unreasonable demands of Formula One exceeded the taxpayer’s ability to pay. I would like to thank my colleagues from the federal and provincial governments and members of the business community who joined forces in an attempt to save the Grand Prix. Their concerted efforts attest to Montreal’s vitality and could prove an opportunity for creating a development fund for new events of all kinds that would stimulate the economy, tourism and employment.
Minister Raymond Bachand added:
Whenever the Grand Prix of Canada needed help from the Government of Quebec, we were there. We worked very hard over the past few weeks to ensure there would be a Grand Prix in Montreal, while staying fiscally responsible. We cannot meet Mr. [Bernie] Ecclestone’s unworkable demands. Unless he eases his requirements and adopts a different approach, there will be no Grand Prix in Montreal in 2009.
I don’t expect that to happen. Ecclestone seems more keen to make sure China stays on the calendar.
In 2009, F1 will have no race in North America. Canada has multitudes of passionate F1 fans, who continued to fill the circuit each year despite having no hoem driver to cheer on. There will be race for them next year, because Bernie Ecclestone has priced another classic F1 venue out of the market.
I hope this depressing and damaging trend is reversed very soon.