Grand Prix nearing return to Montreal
Mayor Tremblay says city close to finalizing deal with F1 boss for 2010
Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay and Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone finally are seeing eye-to-eye, and the result would be a return of the Grand Prix to the city.
Tremblay on Thursday said they are nearing a deal to bring back the race for 2010. A date and other event details have yet to be finalized.
"There are still certain commitments which have been made that have to be refined," he told reporters on Thursday, adding that Quebec and Ottawa are also at the table with the city.
"Right now, we're trying to finalize this agreement in the best interests of Montreal."
Tremblay is confident he will be able to make the official announcement before next year's F1 calendar of events is unveiled in September.
"We want Montreal to regain its status as one of the largest Grand Prix [races] in the world," the mayor added.
Montreal was dropped from the 2009 F1 calendar after negotiations with race organizers collapsed.
It was the first time in 22 years that F1 cars had not raced at a Montreal track.
For several months, municipal, provincial and federal government officials travelled to London to persuade Ecclestone to reinstate the race, but he refused.
Since then, the tables turned because of the economy and ongoing troubles in Formula One circles, Tremblay said.
Negotiations slowed in recent months when it was reported F1 wanted $175 million to keep the race in Montreal for five years. The city government said that was too much.
In June, Tremblay suggested Ecclestone wanted to come back to Montreal because drivers and teams were pressuring him to hold a race in North America to raise the profile of the troubled racing industry.