NOVEMBER 7, 2016
Stroll helps embattled Canada GP
Lance Stroll is a timely shot of good news for the embattled Canadian grand prix.
That is the view of Montreal race promoter Francois Dumontier, who is currently in talks with Bernie Ecclestone about the event's mere provisional status on the 2017 calendar.
The 2017 race is reportedly uncertain due to delays in circuit improvements, but the debut next year of young Canadian Stroll is a shot of good news, Dumontier told La Presse newspaper.
"It's in the same year that we celebrate 50 years of formula one in Canada," he said, "so we see it as a wonderful birthday present."
In fact, so important is young Stroll to the Canadian grand prix that Dumontier actually travelled to the UK last week for Williams' announcement.
"Of course it's positive, and I would be lying if I said it does not make any different to the tickets," he said.
However, tickets for the 2017 race are in fact not yet even on sale, as Ecclestone and the FIA are yet to remove Montreal's asterisk.
But Dumontier does admit that talks with F1 supremo Ecclestone are taking place.
Asked if the Stroll news has now changed Ecclestone's tone somewhat, he laughed: "I cannot reveal the content of the discussions we are having at the moment, but it is a nice coincidence.
"The announcement was made while we are having these kinds of discussions, but I remain optimistic that in the coming days, I think the asterisk will disappear."
As for those 2017 race tickets, Dumontier added: "It has not been announced yet, but it is something that is imminent.
"I have no specific date, but it will be in the coming days."