Canadian GP secures new deal
|By Jonathan Noble||Friday, November 27th 2009, 20:12 GMT|
The Canadian Grand Prix's return to the Formula 1 calendar in 2010 is now official, after the government stepped in to help secure a five-year deal for the race.
Following months of uncertainty about the fate of the event, which was dropped for this season after a deal could not be reached with Bernie Ecclestone, the Montreal race's return was confirmed at a press conference in the Canadian city on Friday afternoon.
The deal to secure the race's place on the calendar has been helped by the governments of Canada and Quebec, Montreal and Tourisme Montreal - who together have helped put together an £8.5 million annual investment plan for the next five years.
In return for the money, Montreal and its partners will receive 30 per cent of the profits from ticket sales for the grand prix - which will take place on June 13 next year.
Montreal's mayor Gerald Tremblay was delighted at the news - which will see F1 return to the North American continent next year after being absent for the first time in world championship history this season.
"The return of the Formula 1 to Montreal attests to our sustained efforts and determination," he explained.
"This win-win deal falls in line with the terms we set and the taxpayer's ability to pay and will create stability for the next five years.
"I am very pleased that our metropolis is bringing back this crucial stage in the Formula 1 series for fans from around the world and an outstanding opportunity in terms of the event's international reach."
Local government officials were adamant that their investment in the event made complete sense - because of the huge financial boost that the grand prix brings to Montreal.
Quebec minister of finance and minister responsible for the Montreal region, Raymond Bachand said: "For Quebec, this event by itself results in annual tax revenues of more than $10 million (£5.5 million), for a $4 million (£2.2 million) investment, minus revenues from ticket sales.
"All three levels of government have worked together tirelessly over the past few months to bring the grand prix back to Montreal, while acting in a financially responsible manner. With this agreement in hand, I am delighted that our efforts have finally succeeded."