Canadian Grand Prix…is no more!

Canadian Grand Prix
This just in from the CBC Sports report:

“If we decide to invest public money in an event like the Grand Prix, it’s because it makes sense on an economic level,” he said. “It has to be profitable.”

Quebec’s economic development minister Raymond Bachand stated the financial demands by F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone proved too steep to keep the Grand Prix in Montreal.

“We’ve placed our last financial card on the table,” said Bachand at a news conference on Sunday. “Unless [Ecclestone] changes his mind, it’s over.”

Despite the collective efforts of the three levels of government, Bachand claimed negotiations stalled because Ecclestone wouldn’t budge from his “excessive” demands.

“Mr. Ecclestone demanded annual fees that started at $31 million and went to $38 million by 2013, so $175 million in total,” said Bachand.

“And he wanted a bank or government guarantee. He didn’t care who organized the race.”

Canada’s counter-offer – put together by the federal, provincial, and municipal government proposed – $110 million over five years plus a cut of the annual profits: 75 per cent of the first $10 million and 25 per cent of the remaining funds.

“At that level, we were sure the Grand Prix would be profitable,” said Bachand.

What a sad state of affairs. No North American race. It seems to me that Bernie’s assertion that races aren’t profitable and organizers must face losses for the sake of the sport is dubious but then I haven’t heard Bernie’s take on this. China is willing to be break even and Canada says it wants a profit and yet both are apparently heading the way of the dodo.

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