Canada resolves dispute with Ecclestone
Grand Prix F1 du Canada Inc. today announced that the commercial dispute between it and Formula One Administration (FOA), which had been ongoing since last fall and led to the cancellation of the 2009 edition of the Canadian Grand Prix, has now been settled.
Normand Legault, President and CEO of Grand Prix F1 du Canada Inc., said: "I am very happy, and fully satisfied, with this outcome. I have always been confident of being able to resolve the dispute, given the in-depth understanding I have had to develop of the Formula One racing situation in Canada. And I am especially pleased that an announcement is forthcoming to the effect that the Canadian Grand Prix will be back on the FIA calendar as of 2010. I never doubted that the Canadian race would regain its rightful place on the FIA schedule, and my discussions with F1 management led me to believe that the event would return soon. The race is important not only for Formula One, but also for the teams, manufacturers and sponsors. I am also happy for the Canadian Grand Prix's many fans, because they are true F1 enthusiasts who appreciate the real value of the spectacle and the competition."
"I am very proud of how far the Canadian Grand Prix has come since it was first run on the Île Notre-Dame circuit more than 30 years ago, when I initially became involved in organizing it," Mr. Legault added. "Our efforts in the early 1990s to take the Grand Prix beyond the boundaries of Île Notre-Dame have transformed it from a mere auto race into a mass-appeal event that is an indispensable part of Montréal's summer festivities, with spinoffs that benefit the entire downtown area and other neighborhoods, such as Little Italy. One need only look at some races held abroad to see that it takes more than an automobile race to create a bona fide event, with an international reputation that can attract tourists from the four corners of the globe. I am especially proud of the fact that, over the past 12 years with Grand Prix F1 du Canada Inc. as race promoter, our team has managed to run the show single-handedly, through thick and thin. We owe our success in large part to the sponsors who never stopped believing in us and backing us, to our loyal fans, whom I thank most heartily for their steadfast support, and, lastly, to our many volunteers, who have devoted so much time and effort to organizing the race."
End of Normand Legault's involvement as local promoter
Mr. Legault concluded: "As to the question of whether I will remain involved as local promoter, I had already announced last fall that I no longer wished to fill that role, in view of the economic model currently prevailing in Formula One, which has now made it impossible to put on an event like this strictly with private investors, and no government assistance. I explained last fall that I did not wish to ask the governments for support in order to meet FOA's financial requirements, and so it became unthinkable for me to continue to act as promoter. I believe, however, that considering its value for our local economy, it is important that the event return, and I wish every success to those who decide to take over the work that I have done over the years."