Mar.1 (GMM) Canada’s place on the F1 calendar for the next 13 years is secure.
That is despite the fact that, mere months ago, the 2017 edition of the popular Montreal race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was under a dark cloud.
That uncertainty was about renovations to the ageing paddock, but we reported in October that the city of Montreal was in fact “negotiating to extend the (contract) by five years, from 2025-2019”.
In the paddock in Barcelona, race promoter Francois Dumontier revealed that the contract extension has been signed.
“Some said the end was 2028, but it’s 2029,” he told the Journal de Montreal newspaper in Barcelona.
“This is nothing new. I’m not telling you anything new.”
Indeed, Montreal mayor Denis Coderre had referred to the 2029 extension during a radio interview in January.
But the latest confirmation follows a recent meeting between Dumontier and representatives of F1’s new owners, Liberty Media.
“The meeting was favourable,” Dumontier said, “their vision of the future is interesting and it’s music to our ears.
“But we have to give them time, because these people are in a very sharp learning curve. That being said, they seem to have an openness to discuss and work with promoters.”
As for his Barcelona visit, Dumontier said it was really to witness Canadian teenager Lance Stroll test the 2017 Williams for the first time.
A high-speed spin for Stroll actually ended the 18-year-old’s day, but Dumontier said the son of billionaire Lawrence Stroll is actually very important for the Canadian grand prix.
“As promoter of the Canadian grand prix, I had to be here,” he said. “Personally, I feel an excitement around Lance and I am moved and very proud to see him arrive in F1, especially since I’ve known him since he was a boy.”