Canada optimistic but cautious

Canada optimistic but cautious

The news that the Canadian Grand Prix has been provisionally reinstated to the 2004 Formula One calendar has been greeted with cautious optimism by race promoter Normand Legault. The return to the schedule for the Montreal race is dependent on a...

The news that the Canadian Grand Prix has been provisionally reinstated to the 2004 Formula One calendar has been greeted with cautious optimism by race promoter Normand Legault. The return to the schedule for the Montreal race is dependent on a financial agreement being reached to compensate teams that will lose revenue due to the tobacco sponsorship ban.

Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.
"The conditional return of the Canadian Grand Prix on the 2004 calendar is encouraging news," said Legault. "But there is still much work to do before we can confirm that the Grand Prix will be held."

"We are continuing our discussions with Formula One Management to conclude a financial agreement that would please the teams hurt by effects of the anti-tobacco laws. Only such an agreement will ensure the presentation of the Canadian Grand Prix next June."

Teams that are tobacco backed -- Ferrari, Renault, BAR, Jordan and McLaren -- stand to lose a considerable amount of cash if they race without the sponsor logos. The compensation required has been reported in the region of $20 million.

Quebec Premier Jean Charest said that the government would consider financial assistance to ensure the future of the GP but there would be conditions attached. Any proposal to solve the financial problem would be considered but it would have to be 'profitable for Quebec and its taxpayers'.

"When they come with a proposal, we will look at it coolly and lucidly and we will take a business decision," he said. "I think it would be in the interests of everybody that a business like this be concluded over a number of years and not just for one year, otherwise the risk is that all of this will start again."

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Series Formula 1
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Jordan