Cancelled race a ‘missed opportunity’ for Montreal

Date published: July 28 2020

By not doing more to try and ensure the Canadian Grand Prix went ahead, Montreal has missed a great opportunity, says the race President. 

The sport recently announced that, due to the COVID-19 situation, each of the four races in North and South America would be cancelled this season.

It will be just the second time since 1988 that Montreal hasn’t hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix. Considering how the city has been damaged by the pandemic, the Canadian Grand Prix President Francois Dumontier feels more should have been done to make it happen this year.

“People are talking about the difficulties of downtown Montreal. Here [there] are no activities, the hotels are practically empty – and I believe that a race in October could have put Montreal back on the map,” he told La Presse.

“F1 still travels with 2,000-2,200 people every race weekend, so 2,200 hotel rooms could have been rented during that time.

“It would have been a great opportunity to promote Montreal.”

Due to the pandemic, this year’s being cancelled has seemed somewhat inevitable for quite some time, with the sport preferring to stay within Europe for most of the campaign instead.

Despite this, Dumontier still thinks that, if the local authorities had showed more interest and effort, things could have been different.

“For the moment, we know that the ban on sporting or cultural events is valid in Quebec until August 31. Will it be extended? We don’t know yet,” he added.

“What I find unfortunate is that we worked for weeks on a plan, fleshed out, after consulting the plans of American and European organisations, but that we did not receive any local support to do so.

“What I regret is that as of today, no one has called me back to tell me whether the plan was good or not, to make recommendations or not. And this will add to the missed opportunity.”

With the races in Canada, USA, Mexico and Brazil not going ahead, Formula 1 has announced that the Nurburgring, Imola and Portimao will stand in as replacements.

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