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2021 Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal Cancelled (for sure)

Montreal, QC, Apr 28/21 (GRW): For a second year running, the Canadian Grand Prix has been cancelled due to the restrictions to control the COVID-19 pandemic. The race had been planned to run on June 13 but it will now be replaced by a one-off event at Istanbul, Turkey on the same date.

The main problem cited was the fact that all the team personnel would have been required to quarantine for 14 days once they arrived in Canada – a requirement incompatible with the F1 race schedule which has a Grand Prix in a different country every two weeks.

However, the reputation of the Canadian event at the Montreal venue remains strong. They already had signed a contract extension going forward until 2029 and, with this second cancellation in two years, the F1 ownership (Liberty Media) has extended their contract by another two years, taking the commitment to 2031.

F1 wants to build more of an audience in America and they have recently added Miami as a destination beginning in 2022. Not to comment on the viability of the now two US Grands Prix (COTA and Miami), the Grand Prix in Montreal has proven to be one of the best Grands Prix on the calendar and its Montreal location makes it an attractive destination for US residents in the north-east part of the country, making it, in effect, an additional ‘American’ date on the F1 calendar – and, as such, a valuable property for the F1 organization.

Once this pandemic is behind us, we can look forward to the Montreal race resuming its position as one of the crown jewels of the F1 racing calendar.

Previously, it had been announced that the IMSA WeatherTech race scheduled for July 4th at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park had been cancelled. It will be replaced by a second IMSA race at Watkins Glen on that same weekend (but the race will be on Friday, July 2 to avoid a conflict with US Independence Day celebrations). This race will come only a few days after the six-hour IMSA race at the Glen the previous weekend, making it (with the Friday date and the few days after the traditional IMSA date at the Glen) unlikely to attract much of a crowd – or much of a TV audience for that matter.

Given the cancellations of these two major race events in Canada, there has to be a question of whether or not the other two majors will also be cancelled.

The Toronto Honda Indy is scheduled for Toronto’s Exhibition Place (CNE grounds) on July 11th. But they will need to start building this course, which uses part of Lakeshore Drive for the layout, some weeks before this date. Given the current state of ‘lockdown’ in Toronto and environs, it seems possible that the city and the race organizers may be forced to pull the plug on this race as well.

The fourth major is the NASCAR Truck Series race at CTMP on Labour Day weekend in early September. We can hope that the fight to bring the pandemic here in Ontario under control by mid-summer will allow the Canada-US border to be reopened and the general anti-virus regulations to be ended in time for plans for the September Truck Series race to be confirmed.

Stay tuned.

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