Future of Canadian Grand Prix still unclear

The future of the Canadian Grand Prix continues to hang in the balance.

Bernie Ecclestone today met with Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay, Quebec economic development minister Raymond Bachand and federal minister of international trade Michael Fortier.

The trio of delegates are hoping to see the race reinstated after Formula One supremo Ecclestone axed it from the 2009 calendar.

Ecclestone had claimed that grand prix organisers owed him money dating back three years, an accusation vehemently denied by Paul Wilson, the vice-president of marketing.

Wilson insisted the matter centred around a commercial disagreement regarding their monetary obligations for 2008 only.

The dispute prompted a three-man delegation to seek showdown talks with Ecclestone in the hope of resolving the matter.

After a two-and-a-half-hour meeting in London with Ecclestone that was described as “positive” by Tremblay, the race has not been saved, but it is not dead in the water either.

“We have a better understanding of the issues,” added Tremblay.

“We still have a lot of work to do, to evaluate all the options, but it is still possible to hold the grand prix in Montreal in 2009 and in subsequent years.”

Tremblay has stated losing the race would be an “enormous” economic blow to Montreal as it generates £37million in tourism and spin-offs.

It is understood a close friend of Ecclestone, Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte, who is a Quebec native, could inject funds that would guarantee the race returning to next year’s calendar.

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