F1 Canadian Grand Prix Promoter Still Holds out Hope for June Race
A decision regarding the fate of the 2020 Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix will be made before May 1.
According to The Canadian Press, race promoter Francois Dumontier says a decision on the June 14 Montreal race will be made between Easter (April 12) and May 1. The dates coincide with the time it would take to get the Montreal race circuit ready for the race.
The event is Canada is currently the next scheduled race on a schedule that has seen the first seven races (out of 21 scheduled) be canceled or postponed because of the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak.
“At this point, we all hope the race can go ahead on June 14,” Dumontier said in a conference call with the media. “At the same time, we have to be realistic and look at the situation on a daily basis. If it can’t go on as planned, we will postpone it.”
Since the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit in Canada is not located on city streets and can be set up rather quickly and without the difficulties that go with putting up and tearing down a downtown race circuit, the race is a prime candidate to be rescheduled, should a postponement be necessary.
Dumontier added that much of the decision is out of his control, however, as many of the outside companies used to prepare the race facility and provide supplies are shut down.
The province of Quebec, where Montreal is located, is one of the hardest hit areas in Canada for the COVID-19 coronavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 221 people in Quebec have tested positive for the virus with four deaths. Also concerning is that as of the latest report (March 24, 6 p.m.), the province has what are termed 792 “probable cases.” Should a majority of those tests come back positive, that would make the Quebec the epicenter for the virus in Canada.
“Several factors must be considered both here in Quebec and around the world,” Dumontier said. “The question of borders is obviously decisive, as is the possibility of traveling from one country to another. At any rate, we do not envisage a cancellation, unless the entire season is canceled.”
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