The return of the Canadian Grand Prix to the Formula 1 calendar in 2010 appears to be all but officially confirmed, after reports in Canada suggested that Bernie Ecclestone has reached agreement with the race organisers and has given the green light to the running of the race.
The executive committee of Montreal and the Canadian Secretariat of Intergovernmental Business (SAIC) will meet on Wednesday to give the final OK which should, according to La Presse be “a formality.”
The deal will bring F1 back to Canada for five years at a combined cost of $75 million ($15 million per season). Canada’s capital city Ottawa will provide $5 million a year, with the Quebec region, in which Montreal rests, paying $4 million a year. Montreal itself will foot $1 million a year, which leaves a $5 million shortfall.
This $5 million will be raised by the introduction of a special tax on hotels over the race weekend.
The end of the negotiations have seen Ecclestone make an incredible cut in price for the hosting of the race, ultimatley settling for a figure $100 million lower than his original demand.
Fans, teams and those who follow Formula 1 will be worried by the special tax however. While Montreal is one of the most popular races of the season, hiking tax rates for the duration of the race weekend will not go down well. As Formula 1 enters a new era in which costs are intended to be brought under control, increasing costs on those attending races in order to allow nations to host those very races could prove to be a gravely misjudged error. And with the Quebecois government understood to be taking home 30% of the revenue from ticket sales, there could be little sympathy for them.