Canada axed from 2004 calendar

The Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal has been dropped from the 2004 Formula 1 World Championship calendar

Canada axed from 2004 calendar

The decision has been made because of tough new anti-tobacco legislation which is set to become Canadian law on October 1 this year.

Bernie Ecclestone's company, Formula One Management, sent a letter to the organisers of the race last week informing them that the event would not be included on the schedule because of the laws which preclude any tobacco advertising, including the appearance of logos, at any sporting event In Canada.

Chief Executive of the event, Normand Legault, told a press conference that it is unlikely that there will be a reversal of the decision.

"The letter wasn't a surprise," said Legault. "He [Ecclestone] is invoking a contractual matter which he has the right to raise. I don't view it as a threat but as a final decision on his part."

Legault was also doubtful that the event would be able to return to the schedule in 2005 and said that it would require teams to agree to run their cars without any tobacco logos. Five teams, Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, BAR-Honda and Jordan all have substantial backing from the tobacco industry and it is unlikely that they would agree to this.

The Belgian Grand Prix was dropped from this year's calendar due to anti-tobacco legislation, and although the race will return in 2004, it is only because of new laws created by the Belgian government to side-step the issue.

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