F1 issues update on Canadian Grand Prix as wildfires rage across Quebec

Henry Valantine
Drivers in place for a practice start. Canadian Grand Prix June 2022.

Drivers move into place to complete their practice starts. Canada, June 2022.

Formula 1 has stated that the Canadian Grand Prix is “not at risk” of being cancelled, with around 150 wildfires currently burning across Quebec.

The smoke across the region spread as far as New York City on Thursday morning, with residents there told to wear masks because of the poor air quality and visibility believed to not even stretch across the Hudson River.

Conditions remain dangerous across multiple areas on the East Coast in North America, but Montreal is not believed to be one of them at this time, though a change of wind direction could still affect Montreal at a later date.

Following talks with F1’s Incident Management Group, Canadian Grand Prix organisers and local government officials assured Formula 1 that air quality in the area is good and the race can currently go ahead as planned.

A spokesperson from Formula 1 said of the current state of the Canadian Grand Prix: “The event is not at risk, and we have been assured by all the relevant information that the situation in Montreal at this time is different to other parts of the country and northern US. The risk remains low and air quality is good in Montreal.”

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Huge portions of the population in America and Canada remain under air quality warnings however, with footage emerging of smoke-filled haze falling on cities across the East Coast.

Local residents have been asked to remain indoors where possible, and some areas are handing out free N95 masks for people to wear outdoors to combat the poor air quality.

The race is due to take place on the weekend of 16-18 June at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, with two races having already been cancelled so far in the 2023 season.

Ongoing Covid-19 restrictions saw the Chinese Grand Prix called off back in April, while devastating flooding in northern Italy meant the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was cancelled in May.