Daniel Riccardo won the Canadian Grand Prix yesterday afternoon in Montreal but the real story was that Formula 1 signed an agreement with the race promoter, and the city to stay at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for another 10 years.
This year was the 35th time the race was held in Montreal and annually brings in the most tourism dollars than any other sporting event in the city. The commitment from Formula 1 will allow upgrades to the overall facility that is one of the oldest in today’s quick changing would of Formula 1.
The announcement is a long way from the days of the rumoured demise of the race once the Canadian government banned cigarette advertising on the cars in the late 1990’s. However, the trend since extended worldwide putting Canada back as a staple on the F1 calendar. Most involved love the city, the track and the fan support the race gets in the city.
Over the next 10 years, the Grand Prix will run with the help of $62.4 million from the federal government, $62.4 million from Tourisme Montreal, $49.9 million from the province and $12.4 million from the City of Montreal.
The city will also spend an additional $32.6 million to renovate the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve racetrack. That brings the total value of the deal to $219 million.
Mayor Denis Coderre, who has always championed sporting events coming into the city, says that the negotiations had been going on for a while. The city’s businesses and hotels will be very happy.
The deal came with some dissension from Greenpeace Canada, according to CBC News:
Greenpeace Canada spokesman Patrick Bonin said in a time of austerity and mounting evidence of global warming, this sends a bad message.
“The government’s supposed to fight climate change, but it’s subsidizing the symbol of over-consumption,” he said.
Montreal’s board of trade sees the deal differently, looking at it as a symbol of optimism.
With new changes to the technology this year, the new Formula 1 cars are some of the most efficient cars in the world, using energy-recovery technology and being able to go an entire race on 100 kilograms (140 liters) of fuel.