Start, Formula E, Montreal, 2017

Ex-Lotus F1 CEO linked to Formula E return to Canada in 2022

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Former Lotus F1 CEO Matthew Carter is understood to be involved in a plan to bring Formula E back to Canada, at a different location to its ill-fated one-off Montreal event.

The city of Vancouver has been chosen as a potential venue for a Formula E race in 2022. Formula E is in discussion with multiple cities in Canada, with Vancouver being one option.

Carter was the CEO of Lotus’s F1 team from 2013 until the team was sold to Renault at the end of 2015. He is now listed as a senior consultant for One Stop Strategy Motorsports, an event organiser which worked on the 2019 Bern E-Prix.

OSS also list Anne Roy as a senior consultant, who from 2013 until 2016 was the assistant to general director and press agent for the then mayor of Montreal. Roy has since worked as a motorsports consultant and publicist.

Phillip Smirnow, co-owner of OSS, previously worked as operations coordinator for the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix before moving to Evenko, which promoted the 2017 Montreal EPrix.

Formula E’s previous Montreal venture was fraught with controversy as part of investigations into alleged public fund misuse by Coderre. An agreement had been reached for the event to host the final races of the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons but was dropped from the calendar after the 2017 event when a new mayor was elected.

That led to an extended legal wrangle between Formula E and the city over a deal reputed to be worth around $50 million. In 2019 the Canadian High Court ruled the city could not reject Formula E’s claim, and cases associated with the dispute are continuing.

Vancouver was part of the CART IndyCar calendar from 1990 until 2004, using three different layouts of street circuit around False Creek. These configurations, the final version of which measured almost three kilometres, which could serve as the basis for a Formula E track. A small, permanent circuit also exists on Vancouver Island but primarily holds track day events and is unlikely to be deemed suitable for the series.

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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3 comments on “Ex-Lotus F1 CEO linked to Formula E return to Canada in 2022”

  1. I undestand that appeal of street circuits in terms of attracting crowds and enticing cities to host, but why not race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve? It’s close to downtown Montreal and is rarely used for anything other than Formula One. Is their something in the regulation that bars Formula E from using F1 venues?

    1. Nothing bars Formula E from racing on an F1 track as they do it in Monaco and Mexico but their preference is to host races on city tracks. I was at the Montreal Formula E race and it is a shame the whole organizational part was such a shambles because the race itself and the track were quite good. Vancouver’s gain is Montreal’s loss in my opinion.

  2. By the time that Vancouver hosts a Formula E, or any other top flight series event, I will be looking forward to hopping in my Aero-Car or strapping on my Jet Pack and completing the flight from Vancouver to Victoria, and back of course.
    Ain’t gonna happen. Give up on the idea now before wasting any more time or $$$ on it.
    And yes, I live in the Vancouver area.

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