The effects of the Montreal axe

With Canada now unlikely to appear on the Formula 1 calendar in 2004, the number of events looking for a race is down to 17, a number which the Formula 1 teams are willing to consider. This list however still includes San Marino which needs to make serious financial commitments if it wants to get a race contract with Formula One Management. If San Marino is willing to make the necessary commitment it will survive but if not that event could still be dropped in 2004 - and that would mean only 16 races again.

This actually suits Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone because in 2005 he needs more space on the F1 calendar because Turkey and Russia are both planning to hold races. Turkey is well on its way to being ready but Russia is currently lagging behind as the money is yet to be found to pay for the event.

In the short term the disappearance of Montreal will ease the pressure on the British Grand Prix but that is not likely to last long because it does not make sense for F1 to cut back in the Americas at a time when the United States and Canada are its major target markets. Thus it is likely that the cancellation of Canada is the precursor to an expansion elsewhere in the US. The details of this will no doubt come to light in the weeks and months ahead...

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