Despite Rumor, F1 Not Likely to Return to Montreal in '09

Tim ParentSenior Writer IMarch 30, 2009

MONTREAL, QC - JUNE 07:  Jarno Trulli of Italy and Toyota drives during qualifying for the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve June 7, 2008 in Montreal, Canada.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

As rumors go, this one seemed about as likely as Madonna being told she could no longer adopt small African children.

Still, in a city still feeling the effects of having the F1 yanked from its summer line-up of festivities, hope sprang eternal.

A report surfaced over the weekend indicating that Montreal may still play host to the F1 in 2009 because Abu Dhabi was behind schedule in getting its track ready for its race set to run Nov. 1.

Dig deeper, and the reasons why this rumor lacks any substance become clear.


First off, Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates, is oozing with money. It sweats dirhams out of every pore. The city's towering skyline is a testament to its opulence; large buildings are constructed faster than Superman can leap them.

Seems unlikely engineers in that country couldn't get it together to build the track by race day.


Secondly, those in charge of the day-to-day operations of running the city of Montreal, namely mayor Gerald Tremblay and his executive committee, had never been given any indication their town would bask in the F1 glow this year. 

Besides, Tremblay added, he doesn't want a one-shot race return. He's looking for a deal that would bring the race back to Montreal for good.

Tremblay did admit, however, that talks to that effect are ongoing. Until now, most had assumed Montreal and F1's big boss, Bernie Ecclestone, were in a cooling-off period after some words were exchanged following the initial loss of the event back in October.


But really, the dead giveaway that the rumor is bogus was the proposed date of the event.  

Traditionally, the Canadian Grand Prix is run in early June; the report implied should the event return to Montreal this year, it would take place at the beginning of November.   

Any one familiar with Montreal knows that when November makes its way to the city, not only does it chase away what's left of the falling leaves, it carries with it the colder weather that Canada is known for. Sometimes, for good measure, it brings a dusting of snow.

It seems unlikely that the sleek and powerful F1 cars would adhere well to the surface of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve if it was covered in a thin layer of powder. Besides, does Bridgestone even manufacture snow tires for F1 racers?


And so the rumor, much like the Canadian Grand Prix, dies a quick death.

But all is not lost: Negotiations continue, and it's possible the race could return to North American soil sooner than most believed possible. 

Still, expect Madonna to have adopted a few more third-world children before the high-pitched whine of an F1 engine cuts through the late-spring smog of a Montreal morning.