Canada still hoping for a reprieve

Canada is still hoping to be reinstated to the 2004 Formula One calendar and its been reported that a compromise on the tobacco advertising ban is being discussed. The ban is due to come into force in October, which was the reason for removing the...

Canada is still hoping to be reinstated to the 2004 Formula One calendar and its been reported that a compromise on the tobacco advertising ban is being discussed. The ban is due to come into force in October, which was the reason for removing the Montreal race from the F1 calendar, but the proposal is to delay the legislation until 2006. This would fit in with the FIA's tobacco advertising ban due to take effect the same year.

If the delay is agreed to, Canada hopes to be back on the 2004 schedule on June 6th to tie in with the US Grand Prix on June 20th. The June 6th spot is currently occupied by San Marino; traditionally the first European race after the long distance venues, Imola's usual position was taken by the European GP as the FIA shuffled the calendar to make way for the new venues of Bahrain and China.

The Belgian GP at Spa-Francorchamps suffered the same fate as Canada when it was removed from last year's schedule due to tobacco legislation. However, the race has been provisionally reinstated for 2004 as members of the Belgian parliament voted to postpone the tobacco bans until 2005.

Paddock rumour at Monza this weekend is saying that Bernie Ecclestone is persuading the teams to accept an eighteenth race to the 2004 calendar, and that race is speculated to be Canada.

The World Health Organization's international treaty to enforce a world-wide ban on tobacco advertising was signed by Canada this summer, which does not help the parties lobbying for a postponement of the ban. Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Health Minister Anne McLellan have previously said the anti-tobacco law is not open to negotiation. Despite this, the federal and Quebec provincial governments are believed to be announcing a delay on the ban in the near future.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone