Stroll deal could help secure Canadian GP future

Lance Stroll's promotion to a Formula 1 race seat with Williams in 2017 should help a deal to secure the future of the Canadian Grand Prix get finalised over the next few days, says the event's promoter.

The Canadian GP's place on the calendar next year has been in doubt over recent weeks, after the FIA only granted it provisional status on the draft 2017 schedule because a track upgrade had not been completed on time.

While discussions between the Montreal mayor's office and Bernie Ecclestone to sort out the issues are ongoing, race chief Francois Dumontier said on Thursday that he believed Stroll's promotion to F1 would deliver the impetus to get the matter sorted swiftly.

"There is some sort of coincidence with today's announcement, because we have been discussing things over the past few weeks," Dumontier told at the Williams factory on Thursday.

"I am quite positive that in the next few days it [doubts about next year's race] will be behind us and we can start to promote next year's event. Maybe this [Stroll's announcement] is the determining factor."

Fan interest

Dumontier believes that the arrival of Stroll on the F1 grid was massive news for the Canadian GP, as it would ensure a larger crowd to help the event become a bigger success.

"It is huge," he said. "I was coming in a taxi here this morning from the hotel and I was thinking that this was a bit of an historic moment for us.

"If you look at the history of the grand prix - and we will celebrate 50 years next year – this is like a kind of gift. We had Gilles [Villeneuve] in 1978, we had Jacques [Villeneuve] in 1996, and now we have Lance.

"For the fans, their wait is over – and I am very excited for them. I am sure they will support Lance in his first year of F1. He has also just turned 18, so we think he can bring a younger crowd to the site too."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Lance Stroll
Article type Breaking news