Montreal to Lose Formula One's Canadian Grand Prix

Francois GendronSenior Writer IOctober 9, 2008

As we were remembering and celebrating the first Formula One victory of Gilles Villeneuve 30 years ago this week, a bombshell hit the organization led by Normand Legault.

Bernie Ecclestone unveiled a version of the 2009 calendar this week and the Canadian Grand Prix is not on the list. The 2009 calendar was supposed to contain a total of 19 races but is now only showing 18. The Canadian Grand Prix is nowhere to be found on the list.

In reaction to this fact yesterday, Normand Legault, the only remaining private Formula One race promoter, announced that he and his company (Grand Prix du Canada) are retiring themselves and will not negotiate for any future Formula One Grand Prix to be held in Montreal. The amount of money asked by Bernie Ecclestone to run again in Montreal is too much for Legault and his company. In a word, the Canadian Grand Prix is officially dead.

The only way that another Formula One race could be held on the Gilles Villeneuve circuit is through a negotiation with the Canadian government. This is the way that the other Grand Prix are negotiated right now and there is no alternate way to negotiate with the ''money-hungry'' Ecclestone.

There is a waiting list coming from all around the globe to organize an event to replace Montreal, and Ecclestone knows it too well. He will ignore the fact that the majority of the pilots and crew chiefs appreciate the city and the event itself for him to earn even more money.

As they say, there are no feelings in business.

(Picture: Gilles Villeneuve circuit, Canadian Press.)