For a second consecutive yr, the holding of the Canadian Grand Prix is threatened because of the pandemic.
• Read additionally: Formula 1: first laps of the wheel in Bahrain
The mayoress of Montreal, Valérie Plante, didn’t rule out the potential of suspending the occasion by interviewing Thursday on LCN.
F1 executives are nonetheless assured they’ll meet their report schedule, which is because of embody 23 stopovers in 2021. But, confronted with COVID-19, whose state of affairs varies from nation to nation, it’s greater than possible that some occasions, like final yr, are postponed or canceled altogether.
It was introduced in January that the primary race of the season, which was initially scheduled to be contested in Australia subsequent week, was postponed to November 21.
The vacationer occasion of the yr
The Chinese Grand Prix, scheduled for April 11, is not going to happen on the scheduled date. It shall be postponed till subsequent yr.
Other locations seem susceptible, together with the 4 races (Canada, United States, Mexico and Brazil) scheduled within the Americas and which had been struck from the calendar final yr.
In the case that significantly pursuits us, it’s more and more sure that the Canadian Grand Prix is not going to be introduced on the scheduled date of June 13.
If one depends on the feedback made Wednesday by the regional director of public well being of Montreal, Dr. Mylène Drouin, it’s “unlikely to consider, at this stage, she said, a crowded Place des Festivals” .
However, the Canadian GP is the largest vacationer occasion within the nation and the one which kicks off massive gatherings in Montreal earlier than the beginning of the summer season.
In precept, the overall inhabitants is not going to be absolutely vaccinated earlier than the start of September.
The solely technique to maintain the race in Montreal in mid-June might be to current it behind closed doorways. But there are hurdles to beat.
According to our info, discussions are underway between F1 and the governments involved so that each one stakeholders (drivers, group members and officers) who would cease in Montreal in June can get hold of an exemption to keep away from being topic to a quarantine at their again to Europe.
Sources lead us to imagine that the way forward for internet hosting Canada’s GP in June needs to be performed out inside a month, at most.
The Baku (Azerbaijan) Grand Prix, which precedes the Montreal Grand Prix by only a week, has already introduced that no spectators shall be admitted to the venue for the three days.
Montreal may undertake the identical strategy, however its promoter, François Dumontier, has repeatedly asserted that it’s not financially viable for him to prepare a Grand Prix behind closed doorways.
Not even half the capability of the location. The most important supply of earnings for a Grand Prix promoter is ticket gross sales.
In explicit, he should bear the exorbitant prices of transporting F1 automobiles and establishing the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit, which isn’t a everlasting observe.
Rearranging the association and spacing of the seats within the stands (a few of that are bought out) can also be an unrealizable puzzle for Dumontier.
Moral of the story, the nice circus of F1 will return to Montreal in June, after a yr of absence, if this hefty invoice (normally paid by the promoter) is assumed by the varied ranges of presidency.
In different phrases, it’s public funds that should be added to the big sums paid out every year to host F1 that can save the race in 2021.
Moving the Canadian GP to a later date is one other risk, though the F1 schedule is so busy this fall that it turns into nearly not possible to think about that eventuality.
Especially since from mid-October, the climate might grow to be capricious.