Canada will remain on the F1 calendar after it was today announced that race organisers have secured a new 10-year deal to host the race at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
It was also revealed that the new deal will see significant investment in the temporary circuit, with more than Can$30 million (€20m) set to be spent on new pit and paddock facilities and a new race control tower.
Facilities at the track, which are hemmed un between the track and the rowing basing used for Montreal’s 1976 Olympics have been criticised in the past as lagging well behind the standard set by more modern circuits.
The race in Montreal has featured every year but two (1987 and 2009) since 1978 and is one of the most popular on the calendar, both with fans and with F1’s teams and the travelling media.
The news has been greeted very positively by F1 itself.
It is one of the best attended races of the season in terms of the spectators on circuit and is certainly among the most popular among the F1 paddock personnel. Being a race which takes place at 8pm in Europe and 7pm in the UK it plays well with the TV public, which is still 60% based in Europe.
As with the deal at Silverstone, the length of the contract gives the promoters the assurances they need to be able to raise the finance to develop the circuit. It would be hard to do that with a shorter term contract.