NOVEMBER 17, 2008

It is over for Canada

Quebec Premier Jean Charest has confirmed that attempts to save the Canadian Grand Prix have now failed. Until yesterday there were hopes that the race could be saved with the authorities looking at raising hotel taxes in order to raise the money needed to continue to host the Canadian Grand Prix.

Although the FIA had issued a second new F1 calendar, it was believed that there was still hope for Canada as the Turkish GP, which is controlled by Bernie Ecclestone, could still be moved with relative ease and there remained a rather suspicious month-long gap between the Hungarian GP on July 26 and the European GP in Valencia on August 23. The theory was that Canada could come back and take Turkey's June 7 date, without too much drama, and Turkey could then be slotted in a week after Hungary, this being the closest European race to Istanbul, albeit nearly 700 miles through countries which F1 teams are reluctant to send their expensive trucks.

Hiking the hotel prices in Montreal appears to have been rejected and it would not have been popular with the F1 fans and teams as the city's hotels are already overcharging in fairly dramatic fashion when F1 comes to town. Singapore hotels suffered this year by trying to charge too much and many of the top level hotels ended up with empty rooms during the Grand Prix weekend as a result.