Race start, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2022

F1 says Canadian Grand Prix is not at risk from wildfires in region

2023 Canadian Grand Prix

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Formula 1 expects next week’s Canadian Grand Prix to go ahead as normal despite wildfires which have affected air quality in the area.

Over 150 fires have been reported in Quebec, the province which is also home to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve where the race is due to take place.

The pollution caused by the fires has led to warnings in surrounding areas where millions of people have been advised to wear face masks as a precaution against smoke inhalation. The smoke has spread far beyond Quebec to the north and south, including into the United States of America.

However according to F1 the fires are around 800 kilometres from the circuit, the air quality in Montreal has already begun to improve and they have no concerns about the event going ahead.

Air quality in the city fell below normal standards earlier in the week – though it was better than at some venues F1 visits – and has since improved. Forecasts for the coming days indicate changes in the wind direction will continue to direct smoke away from Montreal.

Formula 1’s Incident Management Group will continue to monitor the situation between now and the event next week.

The series has already cancelled one race earlier this year, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, due to flooding at the Imola and surrounding area.

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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...
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15 comments on “F1 says Canadian Grand Prix is not at risk from wildfires in region”

  1. Zero risks indeed, as wildfire smog is quite different from flooding.

    1. Except of course the air quality dropping below acceptable levels, another issue would be sight. If it’s too smoggy, the helicopter cannot take off and the event cannot take place due to an inability to do medevac.

      1. @chrischrill In these situations, of course, so good points.

  2. Thank-you for using an appropriate, accurate, non-clickbait headline!

    1. @x1znet Damn, I missed a trick…


  3. “Forecasts for the coming days indicate changes in the wind direction will continue to direct smoke away from Montreal.”

    This is all we need to know ;) Let’s only the forecast is right.

  4. isthatglock21
    8th June 2023, 20:15

    I’m sure it will be fine but don’t think they’d ever cancel it even if conditions stayed the same or worsened given the government funding for the race. Most important week of the year in the area for F1 & other events that are crucial to the local economy.

    1. The Emilia-Romagna GP is (presumably) also government-funded, so this aspect is irrelevant in any cancellation scenario for any given event.

  5. Didn’t cancel during a missile attack, certainly not canceling for a wildfire.

    1. That was very close on a cancelation but someone made a deal with the rebels …..

  6. some racing fan
    9th June 2023, 7:38

    I’m near Washington DC right now, and the air pollution is bad over here. But it will clear come the Canadian GP- it’s actually supposed to clear up this Saturday.

    1. some racing fan
      9th June 2023, 7:43

      Also the air pollution is covering the entire northeastern region of the US plus parts of eastern Canada, including Toronto and Montreal. But it will be fine come the Canadian GP weekend.

      1. Fred Fedurch
        9th June 2023, 11:48

        The smoke in Toronto (I’m outside of the city) has nothing to do with the smoke in Montreal. It’s from the wildfires out west in Alberta. It’s not good, but it’s bearable. The only reason they’re making a big deal about the fires here now is the ones in Quebec are affecting Montreal, and the idiot man-child that somehow got himself elected Prime Minister is from there.

  7. There was no chance they were going to cancel the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, either, only a couple of days before….

  8. Alianora La Canta (@alianora-la-canta)
    9th June 2023, 9:38

    F1 will cancel if and only if the government tells it to go away. As in Emilio-Romagna, so anywhere else in the world.

    (In this case, I suspect – and hope – the wildfires will be under relative control by next Friday, and thus in this specific case the approach makes sense. It did not make sense in Emilio-Romagna, where the F1 paddock had to be evacuated due to rising floodwaters, despite non-essential travel having been banned before most paddock vehicles would have arrived on-site).

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