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Old 24 Jun 2016, 08:15 (Ref:3654836)   #166
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It is unlikely that the tracks would form a FOCA or FOTA type union to host a rival series to F1 because F1 is an FIA-sanctioned series, and most of them also host many other FIA-sanctioned events.



Besides, which company would build the customer chassis for a rival series anyway? ;-)


The last thing we need is a rival. Anyone who disagrees, I point you to American single seater racing and you'll see what I mean
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Old 24 Jun 2016, 22:04 (Ref:3654937)   #167
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The last thing we need is a rival. Anyone who disagrees, I point you to American single seater racing and you'll see what I mean
IndyCar is still recovering from the CART/IRL split. So be warned.
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Old 25 Jun 2016, 21:32 (Ref:3655110)   #168
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The idea of F1 teams all agreeing on things enough to actually form a breakaway series is ridiculous. They won't be able to agree on what kind of coffee to have at the meetings, never mind anything else.
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Old 29 Sep 2016, 16:02 (Ref:3675949)   #169
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I'm not surprised that the 2017 provisional calendar has an asterisk next to the June 11 Montreal date. As I have pointed out in this thread before, Montreal has not lived up to the contract that it signed with F1 in 2014. The city signed a contract that required it to rebuild or renovate various facilities in time for the 2017 race. The city has made no progress in fulfilling this obligation.

Now Le Journal de Montreal is reporting that the cost to do the necessary upgrades is $50M CDN and not just $32.6M, which was the original estimate.

When Bernie made threats about cancelling his contract with Montreal during the 2015 race weekend, Montreal Mayor Coderre assured the public and the press that everything would be OK and that it was just a matter of getting everyone to agree on exactly what needed to be done.

However, I think the truth of the matter is that the city just does not have the money to do the upgrades and the public is not really supportive of this kind of spending.

I don't know what will happen. But if I had to guess, I think the race is safe for one more year. But if the city does not make a firm commitment to start construction of new facilities on June 12, 2017, then that could be the end of the Montreal race.
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Old 29 Sep 2016, 16:09 (Ref:3675950)   #170
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I'm not surprised that the 2017 provisional calendar has an asterisk next to the June 11 Montreal date. As I have pointed out in this thread before, Montreal has not lived up to the contract that it signed with F1 in 2014. The city signed a contract that required it to rebuild or renovate various facilities in time for the 2017 race. The city has made no progress in fulfilling this obligation.

Now Le Journal de Montreal is reporting that the cost to do the necessary upgrades is $50M CDN and not just $32.6M, which was the original estimate.

When Bernie made threats about cancelling his contract with Montreal during the 2015 race weekend, Montreal Mayor Coderre assured the public and the press that everything would be OK and that it was just a matter of getting everyone to agree on exactly what needed to be done.

However, I think the truth of the matter is that the city just does not have the money to do the upgrades and the public is not really supportive of this kind of spending.

I don't know what will happen. But if I had to guess, I think the race is safe for one more year. But if the city does not make a firm commitment to start construction of new facilities on June 12, 2017, then that could be the end of the Montreal race.
I presume the upgrades are to the pits complex and improving hospitality suites etc. ?
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Old 2 Oct 2016, 22:44 (Ref:3676851)   #171
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I presume the upgrades are to the pits complex and improving hospitality suites etc. ?
The three ares of proposed upgrade are the paddocks (garages and team areas behind them), the race control tower, and the track medical center.

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Old 2 Oct 2016, 22:55 (Ref:3676854)   #172
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I just keep wondering how the city is going to come up with the $50M for the proposed renovations that are already overdue according to the contract for the current race deal. To make things worse the race promoter is having his own financial problems.

Walter Buchignani: Canadian Grand Prix on collision course with an asterisk
Walter Buchignani, Montreal Gazette
More from Walter Buchignani, Montreal Gazette
Published on: September 30, 2016 |

So the dreaded asterisk is back...

...the release of the tentative calendar on Wednesday only served to confirm what was already known.

To recap: In 2014, the city of Montreal, along with its tourism bureau and the provincial and federal governments, agreed to fork over a total of $187 million over 10 years for the privilege of continuing to host our Grand Prix through 2024.

That’s a relative bargain. But the deal with F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone also stipulated the city carry out upgrades to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, including paddocks, control tower and medical centre, in time for the 2017 race. The cost of those renos has been put at between $30 million and $50 million.

However, the city won’t be doing the work in time for next summer, or maybe even a few years after that. No problem, Mayor Denis Coderre has said, because he has a “handshake agreement” with Ecclestone that secures the race in the short term.

Ecclestone himself, though, sounded less than reassuring when reporters cornered him at the track during Grand Prix weekend in June and asked him whether the 2017 edition would proceed without the upgrades.

“We’ll see,” Ecclestone said...

...Oh, and let’s not forget the cash-flow problems at Groupe Octane, organizer of the Canadian Grand Prix. Promoter François Dumontier has been unsuccessful in his search for a title sponsor, and late in paying suppliers. Security firm Garda is seeking about $340,000 in court for nonpayment of services rendered.

Dumontier is also late putting tickets on sale for the 2017 race. They are still not available, even though under normal circumstances they would have been since June...

...A report in the Journal de Montréal on Friday suggested a deal between Ecclestone and the city is imminent. We’ll see. The final calendar is to be released in December.
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Old 3 Oct 2016, 01:32 (Ref:3676879)   #173
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...A report in the Journal de Montréal on Friday suggested a deal between Ecclestone and the city is imminent. We’ll see. The final calendar is to be released in December.
Below are the key points of the article from Le Journal de Montreal (my translation with help from Google).

I'm not encouraged to read that the fate of the Montreal GP rests on a hope and a prayer that the promotion of Canadian driver Lance Stroll to the F1 ranks will attract enough additional fans to the GP to generate enough profits to make the race viable. I hope that it happens but I don't think it's likely.
  • According to the tentative agreement still to be ratified, the city will build the garages and the paddock in time for the Grand Prix of 2019. The initial 10-year contract stipulated that Montreal would build these garages for the 2017 Grand Prix.
  • There was talk of an investment of about 27 million. The sum is now estimated to be nearly 50 million. In return for exceeding the budget, Bernie Ecclestone would add two years to the current contract, ensuring the presence of the Canadian GP in Montreal until June 2026.
  • This would allow the mayor Coderre recover the investment over a greater number of years.
  • The president of the Executive Committee of Montreal, Pierre Desrochers, traveled to London to have a discussion with Bernie Ecclestone. This meeting took place at the offices of the FOM a few weeks ago.
  • François Dumontier, the promoter of the GP remains involved throughout the negotiation process. There is no guarantee that the Grand Prix will be back but if the city reaches an agreement with Ecclestone, his promoter's contract will be much stronger.
  • So what difference would an extended contract make?
  • The extended contract would theoretically allow Dumontier to attract at least 20,000 additional spectators to the race thanks to a 17 year old boy named Lance Stroll.
  • Lance is the son of Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll. He can get his hands on the championship of Formula 3 Saturday or Sunday. He turns 18 in late October and will hopefully make the leap to Formula 1 with Williams. My sources say the chances of seeing the wheel of a Williams in the first Grand Prix next season are 95 percent.
  • The impact of Lance Stroll will not be like that of Jacques Villeneuve when he began his career in Melbourne by winning the pole position in his first Grand Prix. Villeneuve had won the championship of the Formula Indy, a major championship at the time. In addition, he had won the Indy 500 Miles of Indianapolis and was supported by Players Tobacco chaired by Jean-Paul Blais.
  • Lance Stroll could lead to a rise in the popularity of the Grand Prix. He speaks better French than Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard and is very affable. Last year, about 90 000 spectators attended the Grand Prix. Thanks to Lance Stroll, François Dumontier could attract the magic number of 110 000 spectators on Sunday afternoon. It's the difference between making money or making a deficit.
  • And in three or four years, everything indicates that Kimi Laliberté, son of Guy Laliberté, will join the super exclusive club of Formula 1. The profitability of the GP would be ensured.
  • And with Lance Stroll and aboard a Williams, TV network RDS's ratings will increase. So, interest in the Grand Prix too.
  • Nothing is officially set. Furthermore, tickets for the next Grand Prix are ​​still not for sale. Can not buy one.
  • But this time, the stars seem to line up favorably for Dumontier and Montreal. The next meeting of the World Council of Federation of motor sport will be held on 30 November. It's make or break over the next month.
  • But again, B'wana B'nie may change his mind in an hour.
  • But for now, there is hope. It is already a lot.
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Old 3 Oct 2016, 01:35 (Ref:3676883)   #174
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The three ares of proposed upgrade are the paddocks (garages and team areas behind them), the race control tower, and the track medical center.
Looking at an overhead shot of the track, there doesn't seem to be a lot of a lot of room for manoeuvre.
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Old 3 Oct 2016, 09:52 (Ref:3676950)   #175
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I hope a solution is found, it would be ridiculous to lose Canada, when you think of other circuits on the calender
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Old 3 Oct 2016, 21:47 (Ref:3677087)   #176
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Looking at an overhead shot of the track, there doesn't seem to be a lot of a lot of room for manoeuvre.
That's true. As the photo below shows, the rowing basin from the 1976 Olympics is right behind the paddocks.

Currently I think the team areas that are in between the garages and the water are temporary structures that sit partly on docks that float on the water. I think the plan would be to replace those temporary structures with permanent ones.

I'm not sure how they would fit the new buildings into the available space but I'm sure that for the right amount of money some architects and contractors could design and build something better than what's there now.

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Old 4 Nov 2016, 00:54 (Ref:3685188)   #177
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After today's news that Montreal native Lance Stroll will be driving for Williams in 2017, The promoter of the Canadian GP publicly expressed his hope that this news will benefit the race by boosting ticket sales. But I don't know exactly what Dumontier must do to have the "provisional" label removed from the 2017 race.

Montreal's Lance Stroll officially named driver for Williams F1 team
Kevin Mio, Montreal Gazette
More from Kevin Mio, Montreal Gazette
Published on: November 3, 2016

...The promoter of the Canadian Grand Prix, François Dumontier, issued a statement shortly after the news broke.

“I am delighted that Lance Stroll is reaching Formula 1 and I wish him all manner of success,” Dumontier said. “He is an earnest and industrious young man who has come up through the racing ranks to realize his dream and compete in Formula 1.

“It is interesting to note that this same Williams team also gave Jacques Villeneuve his first F1 drive and was his employer when he became World Champion. And this team is now doing the same with Lance. Williams has always had a special relationship with Montreal and the Canadian Grand Prix since Alan Jones won his and the team’s first drivers’ World Championship right here in 1980.”

Dumontier spoke of Stroll and other young Canadian racers this year, saying at the time it would be great for the Montreal race to have some local talent.

“Lance Stroll will begin his Formula 1 career during the year when we will be celebrating 50 years of Formula 1 in Canada, so his arrival may be seen as a wonderful anniversary present for the most important sporting event in the country,” Dumontier said Thursday.

This year, Stroll answered some questions from the Montreal Gazette ahead of the 2016 Canadian Grand Prix.
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Old 4 Nov 2016, 02:06 (Ref:3685206)   #178
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If you really want to know what's going on in Montreal, you have to read the francophone press. It often covers stories that the anglophone press either isn't aware of or doesn't care much about.

So seeking a definitive explanation of why the 2017 Canadian GP is listed as "provisional" on the calendar, I dug up a few articles in the Journal de Montreal. This one is by columnist Réjean Tremblay, who is somone who usually knows the real story behind the news.

Coderre veut-il la peau de Dumontier?
Réjean Tremblay
Jeudi, 27 octobre 2016

La situation du Grand Prix du Canada est devenue un incroyable micmac. La seule certitude dans le dossier, c’est que B’wana Be’nie célébrera ses 86 ans à minuit et une ce soir. Et Lance Stroll ses 18 ans samedi.

I don't have time to do a full translation, but here are the key points of the article:

There is an incredible political intrigue that currently surrounds the GP.

Montreal mayor Denis Coderre (who is somewhat popular in Montreal but is also a real blowhard) wants to remove François Dumontier from the position of promoter of the race (Dumontier has been in charge of the race for about 10 years).

Coderre wants to install the well known event promotion/ticketing company known as evenko as the race promoter. The reason that Coderre wants a new promoter is not clear but there appears to be some personal animosity between Coderre and Dumontier.

Bernie and Dumontier have agreed in principle to sign a new 15-year contract for the race. The contract stipulates that Dumontier will be the promoter of the race. Coderre has refused to sign the contract.

The mayor needs to sign because the city of Montreal provides part of the government subsidy for the race. The city is also responsible for funding the cost of the proposed renovations to the track facilities (paddocks, med. facility & race control tower).

Coderre has publicly insisted that the 2017 race will take place. The mayor says that he is in regular contact with Bernie. However the mayor has not spoken with Dumontier since June 2015.

The city of Montreal has not fulfilled its obligation under the current contract (signed in 2014) to begin the renovations of the track right after the end of the 2016 race. The estimated cost of the renovations was originally about $32M. Now it's up to $50M...and counting.

Coderre has tried to blame Dumontier for the increase in the estimated cost, but the real reason seems to be requirements of the FIA and city regulations.

Dumontier has his own problems. He has delayed payments to some event service and supply firms by a period of several months and then made some payments only with help from Bernie.

While the future of the F1 race remained in doubt, the mayor rushed into a deal with Formula E starting next summer (to be contested on city streets and not at the Circuit GV). Of course the mayor singed evenko as the promoter for Formula E.

Dumontier is counting on Bernie [note to Dumontier; don't trust Bernie] and the new owners of F1 to support him in this conflict. Dumontier was in Austin and he returned feeling reassured that he has their support as promoter.

The columnist mentions a couple former Montreal F1 promoters who got screwed by Bernie, including Normand Legault, Dumontier's predecessor as promoter.

Time is running out and there needs to be a compromise between Coderre and Dumontier. Coderre needs to sign the amended contract. The FIA meets Nov. 30 to finalize the 2017 schedule.
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Old 4 Nov 2016, 03:15 (Ref:3685235)   #179
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...Time is running out ...
The FIA meets Nov. 30 to finalize the 2017 schedule.
The situation described in that article does not sound very promising.
BTW, as the article points out, evenko is the promoter of the Montreal Formula E weekend that is supposed to happen on the last weekend of July 2017 on a downtown street circuit. Coderre had been trying to get a Formula E race for Montreal since at least May of last year, almost as though he wanted to ensure there would still be some kind of race in the city in anticipation of the possibility of F1 not returning.

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Old 4 Nov 2016, 14:14 (Ref:3685317)   #180
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If we were to lose Canada it would really do F1 no credit, these places are why we still love F1
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