Start, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

F1 “continuing discussions” over Canadian GP amid reports race has been cancelled

2021 F1 season

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Formula 1 remains in discussion with the Canadian Grand Prix promoters about the possibility of staging this year’s race, amid reports it has been cancelled.

Local reports on Thursday claimed the race, which is scheduled for June 13th at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, had been cancelled for the second year in a row. Last year’s event did not go ahead due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Radio Canada reported the race will not go ahead due to fears it could contribute to the spread of Covid-19, even if it is held behind closed doors with no spectator attendance. The circuit is situated on the Isle Notre Dame in Montreal and teams typically stay at hotels in the city. Around four million people live in the area, and Montreal’s public health body is said to be concerned about the possibility of infections.

However a Formula 1 spokesperson said the situation remains unresolved. “We are continuing our discussions with the promoter in Canada and have no further comment,” the representative told RaceFans.

The second race of the F1 season is being held behind closed doors this weekend in Imola. Limited numbers of fans will be permitted for subsequent races in Portugal, Spain and Monaco.

The sixth round of the championship on the streets of Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, home to over five million people, will take place without spectators. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is due to host the seventh race on the 2021 F1 calendar one week later.

The championship opened three weeks ago in Bahrain, where limited numbers of fans were allowed to attend provided they had been vaccinated against Covid-19 or recovered from it. F1 reported 8,150 tests for the coronavirus were carried out on personnel, team members and drivers, among which 12 positive cases were identified.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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30 comments on “F1 “continuing discussions” over Canadian GP amid reports race has been cancelled”

  1. Time is running out as the ultimate deadline for the lead time is approaching.

  2. The first of many, I fear.

    Not 23 GP, but 23 races ?

    1. Completely agree, sadly it’ll be the first of Many. I think we’ll actually see much less racing than last year which feels very strange. Last year the season started when Covid was in decline in the countries with planned races. Right now the numbers are raising or are much higher than last year in Europe,Canada,Brazil etc. Even Russia, Hungry and Turkey are sadly having more deaths per day than when they hosted races last season. With numbers going up and strict restrictions in the other countries I do worry this season will be very short indeed.

      1. @Tom I’m not this pessimistic.

  3. It’s not going to happen, let’s be honest.

  4. So sad. 2020 and 2021 are the first Canadian GPs we have missed since 1990.

    Reply moderated
  5. Is it going to happen? Likey not.
    There is the politically sensitive issue of where does the $30+ million come from.?
    That is $18.5M USD for the hosting fee, Plus an additional $6 for the F1 coffers, then sell it to the CDN public in CDN $$$, good luck with that. Never mind who foots the bill for putting the event on. Just another expense for the local tourism office. And we should all know how that is going to work.
    In Canada the current requirement is for ALL international travelers to go through a 3 day testing and initial isolation, then the balance of a 14 day isolation before being cleared to venture out into public spaces. The authorities have not been willing to relax this for sports teams or anyone else, so to expect the F1 circus to circumvent the rules is a false hope.
    Some might say that by June the pandemic numbers will be under control, again, not likely with only a small portion of the population vaccinated by that time.
    If decision time is by 1st week in May and unless a miracle happens with the Canadian Covid numbers, start planning for May 11 on a beach somewhere.
    We may hope for the event to go on, but as they say, Hope is not a good investment strategy.

    1. @rekibsn I do hear you on your points. I claimed on the round up that I thought the race would go ahead just based on Trudeau handing out money like candy these days and him wanting the political good will from the appearance of normalcy of holding the race, and I took the approach as well that F1 would be able to convince him that they could keep within a bubble and be quite safe, as surely they’ll have all been vaccinated by now or certainly by then, as would so many more people be by June in Quebec.

      But anyway you do raise some good points, and for now certainly variant cases seem to be winning in the covid vs vaccine race, while the talk of ramped up supply and administration of vaccines still seems to be going at a relative snail’s pace. I do think F1 would be able to present a strong case as to why in June they could come here and be in a safe bubble and have a race, and I do think Trudeau would not make money an object right now, but that said it may come down to what the health officials say, and if they had to decide today it would certainly be a no.

      1. @robbie, @rekibsn I suspect in the end, the decision will most likely be all about optics from a political perspective.

        Here in Aus, they went ahead with the Australian tennis open despite the terrible optics, because a few politicians wanted to give the impression that we were returning to some form of normalcy.

        They got away with that by enforcing our 14 day hotel quarantine on all players & staff that flew in. Had they not done so the political storm would have been huge.

        Even so there was a pretty big outcry from a lot of Australians, many of whom have been waiting months for family members to be able to return home given the limited numbers that can be accommodated by our quarantine systems.

        I’m pretty sure that if they had their chance to make the decision again, the political leaders that supported the holding of the Australian Open would look at the poor optics and decline it. I’m sure it will be the same in Canada, particularly in an election year – “will this make me look good or bad in the voters eyes” – if it’s going to have a really negative impact on optics, it’ll be cancelled in a flash.

    2. Of course that should be June 11.

  6. A few sources inc. Saward suggesting Turkey is a possible replacement.

    1. Yeah given how well they did last year to organize 17 races as they did, I have no doubt they will be able to replace Montreal quite easily be it in Turkey or wherever.

      1. Logistically, Canada sticks out like a sore thumb with a trip across an ocean and back (especially going from Azerbaijan to Montreal and back to Europe in the space of a few days). Just to take a glance at the calendar, I’ve no doubt there has always been a Montreal ‘back up’ in Europe on standby. It makes sense. Losing Montreal would be a blow though, it has to be one of the most popular venues on the calendar, even without crowds.

    2. It’s better to be Mugello.

      1. @regs Not going to be. Istanbul Park fits logistically.

        1. Istanbul is located on the other side of the planet from Canada. It fits as much as Mugello. And after that GP it should be France, so Mugello fits much better. And everyone like Mugello. It was most interesting race of last year. While Istanbul is one of most boring tracks, as it’s Tilkedrome.

          1. @regs – in the schedule of events, geographically, Turkey is a logistics fit (ie it’s en route from Azerbaijan to France)

          2. @muzza
            Mugello fits logistically much better than Turkey.

    3. Logistically, Turkey fits.
      COVID-19 wise? Turkey has had a massive spike of cases in the last few weeks and may not be able or willing to host.

  7. That race needs to be called off.
    And so do all other three races in the Americas.
    I know the races in Mexico, USA and Brazil ar not until later in the year but things are still rough and people are acting especially here in the US like the Virus is gone but it’s not.
    Brazil is one of the worst hit places and not enough resources to take care of the sick.
    Mexico…. I’m not sure how its going there but I think F1 needs to skip another year at least.

    1. @us-brian The rules don’t encourage cancellation until fairly close to the deadline for starting set-up, simply because unilateral cancellation has to be paid by the cancellor unless the government orders it, and the governments are mostly experienced enough not to try to predict COVID more than a couple of months in advance.

      Though I would be very surprised to see the USA or Brazil, and quite surprised to see Mexico happen.

      1. (Mexico, on the face of it, is doing worse than the USA right now. However, the effects are not evenly distributed in either country, and I can well imagine by October that a secure zone might be established around the track and its airport for a closed-door race, especially given it’s Mexico City rather than the country at large paying for it. Austin and Sao Paulo are both too close to their respective cities for that to be feasible).

  8. This article’s in French, but latest seems to be that the federal, provincial, and city authorities are playing hot potato with no one wanting to take on the responsibility of giving the green light. Btw, Montreal is basically teetering on the verge of a full lockdown if cases shoot up, variants of the virus are ever more present, and the Quebec governemnt is just basically patching things day to day half-assed, so I wouldn’t hold my breath. https://www.lapresse.ca/sports/course-automobile/2021-04-15/grand-prix-du-canada/quebec-et-ottawa-se-renvoient-la-balle-au-plan-sanitaire.php

    1. https://www.tsn.ca/canadian-grand-prix-remains-on-f1-schedule-for-time-being-1.1624257

      And here’s one from TSN, our carrier of the Sky coverage we get here in Canada.

  9. Australia will not happen

    1. Oh surprise, surprise – NOT!!!!!!! Our daughter watches Nth American hockey. Good luck for a ’22 GP too!!!
      Australia – won’t happen. Our Prime Minister now wants to drop quarantining for Aussies returning from overseas. That could prove quite costly.
      Anyone who thinks CoVid is only short term is kidding themselves. These vaccines only REDUCE the severity, NOT STOP contracting it. Also, with these mutations, won’t be long before it outwits the vaccines.

      1. @ancient1 @Adrian
        The rescheduled Australian GP is seven months away, so too early to judge.

    2. If the Australian Open can happen, I should think the Australian GP can happen. Especially since I suspect there’s going to be no races in the previous triple-header happening, thus enabling the paddock to do the two-week quarantine that is likely to be mandated.

    3. Yep can’t see Australia happening either. Here we started to vaccinate but with the wrong one (AstraZeneca, blood clots, nobody wants it) and now no hope of any real numbers being completed by the time the GP is scheduled to arrive as they have to start again.
      We had mandated 14 day isolation for the AusOpen tennis but that’s just not possible for F1, nobody will want to do it even if there was room to do so. So boohoo..

      Reply moderated

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