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AUGUST 27, 2003

Ecclestone plays hard ball over Canada

Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone says that if Canada wants a Grand Prix it is going to have to change its laws

"How many other sporting events in Canada attract 300 million television viewers around the world?" he asked in an interview with Le Journal de Montreal. "If the governments of Quebec and Canada truly believe the Grand Prix is an important event for the country then they need to review their laws and adjust them to reflect the importance of the event. They should give us a permanent exemption," Ecclestone told the newspaper. "If an exemption is good for one year, why not for 20?"

Ecclestone said that although Canada is a popular race in F1 circles the tobacco-sponsored teams will not run there in the current circumstances.