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Fireworks, but no racing in Canada - The 2009 calendar no longer features the Montreal circuit

Published by Mr. C

Not for the first time, the F1 world is facing a problem with transparency. Yesterday a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council was held in Paris and those present agreed on a number of points that were scheduled to be discussed. None of this came as a huge surprise, but what has knocked the F1 world sideways is an update to the 2009 calendar that casually drops the Canadian Grand Prix.

Whilst there are no doubt reasons for the FIA dropping the race, the problem is no-one has any information as to what they might be. A quick scan of the official press release that followed the meeting actually makes no mention, it only provides a revised 2009 calendar without giving reason for the omission of a significant part of its timetable.

The subsequent reaction around the web has been entirely predictable given that one of the best races on the calendar has suddenly vanished, and now the sport has no presence in North America. As a result of the lack of information, every man has his dog have been blamed, most of them probably unfairly, but when there's nothing to work with what else can people do?

It's almost as if the FIA is deliberately trying to court controversy, as if they revel in lighting the blue touch paper and watching the resulting fireworks.

Regardless, it looks as though the race is indeed history as far as 2009 is concerned. The website suggests that the issue might be related to non-payment of fees. While the organisers of the race issued the following statement:

Canada have learned via the media of the omission of the Grand Prix of Canada from the F1 Championship 2009 calendar. Therefore, the organization will issue no comment until having spoken to Formula One Management (FOM) and the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).

Make of that what you will, and no doubt the facts will become clearer once journalists have had chance to do some digging on their arrival in Fuji.

The race may well return in 2010, it took a hiatus for a year in '87 and still made it back, but in the meantime the dedicated and put-upon fans across the Atlantic are without a race and the Formula 1 World Championship is looking about as International as the World Series.