Grand Prix Montreal

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Arruda: It’s possible to have a safe Grand Prix in Montreal this year

The F1 has asked the government for an additional $6-million in compensation if the race is held without an audience.

Quebec Public Health Director Horacio Arruda suggested in a press conference today that it may be possible to hold the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal on June 13 as planned.

“I think it’s possible to have this race without a risk to the population if [people] have proper hygiene and obey protocols.”

—Horacio Arruda

Quebec Premier François Legault voiced concern that cancelling the Formula One racing event for a second consecutive year might put the future of the Grand Prix in question — despite the fact that a deal was made to hold the event in Montreal from 2022 through 2029.

In March, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante proclaimed her support for the event.

“And if there is one event that traditionally marks the launch of the summer festivities, it is Formula 1. It is therefore all the more important this year to send the signal that we wants the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Montreal.”

—Valérie Plante

The F1 has asked for an additional $6-million (on top of the $18.7-million the organization already receives for the rights to the race) to compensate for lost revenue from tickets, concessions and merchandise sold on-site — if the event is held without an audience, that is.

Further analysis is needed to determine the different scenarios to assess whether or not an audience will be permitted. Arruda mentioned today that it could depend on border measures at the federal level, and if exceptions would be made to the quarantine requirements for travellers — ie. drivers, their teams and other F1 staff, roughly 1,600 people according to La Presse.

In a normal year, the Canadian Grand Prix is said to generate $8.1-million in tax benefits for the federal and provincial governments, and economic benefits of $42.4-million for Quebec, according to the Quebec Ministry of Tourism.

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