MONTREAL — The Canadian Grand Prix remains on the Formula One schedule for the 2021 season at least for the time being, but there’s a chance it could be cancelled.
On Thursday morning, a report by Radio-Canada suggested Montreal public health issued a notice opposing the event due to COVID-19.
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante says while that specific information is correct, it does not mean the June 11-13 race is officially cancelled for a second year in a row.
“The fact is that Montreal public health issued a notice opposing the holding of the Grand Prix, even behind closed doors,” said Plante at a news conference Thursday. “What we want is for public health departments to communicate together before we make anything official. It’s the least we can do, out of respect for the various partners.
“In the end, whatever the decision, and if it turns out that the Grand Prix is not coming back to Montreal this year, we will work to ensure the Grand Prix continues to take place in Montreal. We need to maintain our relationship with the Canadian Grand Prix. That’s what we’re working on right now.”
Plante, however, refused to confirm a cancellation.
“I can’t confirm it because we were also waiting on a decision from the Government of Canada and public health,” said the mayor. “I want to tell you, let us leave this meeting, everyone will speak on the phone like we’ve been doing these last few days to secure things, and then we’ll be able to officially confirm, yes or no, based on the information we have.”
A spokesperson for Montreal public health said the health authority was in no position to authorize the cancellation of the Grand Prix.
“We’re not the ones taking the decision,” said Annie Dufour. “We can simply give recommendations and revaluate levels of risk. Obviously given the fragile epidemiological state in Montreal, we shared our hesitation over the holding of the event.
“We expressed our concerns regarding the gathering of several thousand people, some who did not quarantine after coming from Baku (the Azerbaijan Grand Prix precedes Canada’s). But all these decisions are taken at the governmental level. We’re not involved.”