F1 teams working to reinstate Canada
|By Jonathan Noble||Thursday, October 9th 2008, 10:30 GMT|
Formula One team principals are set to hold talks about ways to get the Canadian Grand Prix back on the calendar in 2009, autosport.com has learned.
The race in Montreal was dropped from the schedule earlier this week, meaning F1 currently has no race in North America for the first time since the world championship came into existence in 1950.
Although there are suspicions that F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone could be using the Canadian GP situation to improve the financial terms of holding the event, both from the promoters and the teams, there is genuine concern in the paddock about the impact of losing the race from the schedule.
Honda Racing CEO Nick Fry told autosport.com: "I don't think it is a short-term problem, but it is a problem that does need to be addressed. We are a global series and not to be performing in one of the major continents is a serious problem - even more so because it is a continent that is very important for the motor manufacturers who are involved in F1.
"We need to look at the north American continent situation from a more strategic point of view and work out how we increase our popularity. I don't think you can just look at one race – you have to look at the whole situation there and put together a package which increases our appeal in North America. Then, the financial problems we have appearing at just one race in the continent, will go away."
BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen added: "I haven't got any explanation of the decision and how it came about, so I think we will discuss it."
The decision to drop Canada and hand its June 7 date to Turkey was prompted by the teams' desire to have a summer break inserted into next year's calendar.
It is understood that one solution being looked at now is for Canada to return to its original date, and the Turkey event to then switch to early August, just one week after the Hungarian GP.