OCTOBER 7, 2008

Canada missing from Formula 1 calendar in 2009

The Canadian Grand Prix has been dropped from the F1 calendar in 2009 and Turkey has moved from its August date to replace the event on June 7. This means that there will be no race in North America in 2009. It will also create a month-long break in the summer. It is not clear why the race has been dropped but there were hints this year that Canada was struggling to meet the financial demands of the Formula One group because it could no longer share the cost of the freight with the United States GP, as had been the case in previous years. The world's financial problems will probably not have helped and we are hearing in Europe that there are several races that might not want to organise races in 2009 - even if there are contracts in place. In recent weeks the US dollar has weakened dramatically meaning that a European race that is paying $20m a year was paying around 12.5 Euros in May but will now have to find 15m and with money in shorter and shorter supply there is little expectation of large crowds next summer.

In the case of Montreal the Canadian dollar has risen 10% against the US dollar since May.

The Belgian GP has moved from its planned date of September 6 to August 30, which may bring in some more people and Italy has moved back a week from September 6 to 13.