• Apr 17th 2009 at 9:32AM
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Since the Canadian Grand Prix was canceled for this season, Formula One has been entirely absent from North America. But participating automakers, investors and organizers alike know that the North American market is vital and can't be overlooked, and to that end several new developments are said to be underway to bring F1 back over to the western shores of the Atlantic.

First up, and probably the most straightforward, would be the reinstatement of the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. The event was long a mainstay of the F1 calendar and a prominent event both for locals and for racing fans from across Canada and the United States. Quebec provincial government minister Raymond Bachand confirmed in a recent radio interview that the local governments are motivated to bring the race back to Montreal, and that talks are ongoing with Bernie Ecclestone. A five-year deal at a more reasonable rate than what Ecclestone previously demanded is what local governments are seeking.

Meanwhile, reports are surfacing of several new circuits being built up the St. Lawrence River near Niagara Falls, Ontario. With the backing of Jeff Gordon and others, Kuwaiti investment firm Bayt Al Mal is reportedly building a new $200 million motorsports park in Niagara to include a one-mile oval track for NASCAR races and a 2.5-mile road course that could attract the Canadian Grand Prix to the site. The facility being built boasts seating capacity for 100,000, plus hotels and other accommodations on a 623 acre site. Several other projects are also reportedly under way in the region, close to upstate New York and not far from Detroit, including a 3.5-mile road course for the IRL.

Enough about Canada, what about the United States, you ask? Ecclestone's latest tirade precludes a return to Indy, while in his view none of the hundreds of existing race tracks in the United States would be suitable. Following his previous indications that a new track could be made near Las Vegas, Bernie's now suggesting that only New York would make a viable location for Formula One to return to the U.S. We wonder, meanwhile, what he'll come up with next.

[Sources: F1-Live and GrandPrix.com | Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      IMO a street course in NYC would be a great hit


      I'm sure it would be he** trying to get everyone concerned/involved to agree.

      As for the NASCAR comments--I've never understood the fascination with NASCAR and never will.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Make the race go through the falls!

      Since everyone wants the street thing ... Montreal would even more awesome!

      I've always thought Côte-des-neiges to Pin/Dr Penfield to St-Urbain, to Sherbrooke would be a really cool track!

      Otherwise, imagine going around the Mountain, or through Old Montreal, or the Plateau!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Please god Laguna, Infineon, Road America, Watkins Glen, etc... We dont need a new track, we have badass ones already
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would love to see them race at Laguna Seca just to see how they handle the corkscrew.

      I still get giddy when i think of how Valentino Rossi dominated that course on a bike.
        • 6 Years Ago
        +1 for a West Coast race... let the NY'ers go to Canada.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Montreal is a great track! Narrow and twisty! Great for NASCAR-lovers.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Swede shut up about NASCAR, its just one of a hundred different types of racing that goes on in the US every weekend of every summer.

        No one harps on those stupid looking buggies that you guys try to race up those little rock mounds.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm a US race fan and detest NASCAR and all that it's become (think professional wrestling with cars). All the same, I also think Bernie is a huge (and very wealthy) baby and if he keeps up this dictatorial stance, then he can keep it. Bernie is the worst thing going for F1 right now.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd love to see an F1 race at a track that already exists in the USA. There is truly no need for another track here. I love street courses but you never see enough passing and its really rather congested. I'd rather get my moneys worth and see an all out race. Street races are still great imo but paying for F1 tickets aren't cheap.

      IMO Niagra falls would be GREAT uniting Canadian and US fans to the very borders to share F1 love..I'm all for it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Niagara Falls is a great choice...considering its one of the biggest tourist destinations in north america....i'm sure it can handle the volume quite well. something Montreal was never good at because the track is on an island!

      that said....upstate NY may seem like having a Niagara Falls-like advantage, but the Canadian side of the border get more than 3 times the number of tourists than the US side.

      and i dont know about NYC.....if this is really about egos, Bernie might be in for a shock when NYC just goes on with its business like it always does...maybe he should aim a little lower initially.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As much as I enjoyed the Montreal GP, and it's especially a hoot downtown with all the celebration going on, the track itself is pretty lame. Asides from the hairpin, there aren't that many sharp turns. The race only gets a bit exciting because there are rubber marbles everywhere the last half of the race tossing cars off track and bringing out the safety car.

      I'm pretty sure this isn't feasible for Montreal, but they seriously need to tear up the track and design a better dedicated track. Either that, or run the dang race downtown! Atleast that'll give the city incentive to fix up our lousy city streets!
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ George

        Those were Champ cars in Driven, not F1 cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And Driven was 'set' in Toronto, which would be the best place to host it (near all three tracks) if we didn't have such an eco-friendly mayor.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Have you ever been to the Montreal race? It's almost sold out. The amount of people who come is just insane. So yeah, there's pretty dang good reason to have it in Montreal, even with its not so good track.

        It also slots in nicely with the timezones for all of North America. So there.

        Still, they could improve the racing!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Something about that picture makes me a proud Canadian today...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed, and I'm not even Canadian.
        • 6 Years Ago
        My heart skipped a beat when I read Niagara Falls because its a 10 minute drive for me and i would fully support F1 comming to the Niagara Region. I have never even thought about F1 comming here just NASCAR but I would enjoy both.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I dont really care where it is. Just bring a race back to North America!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Build an expensive track in the USA for a snotty-ass European??? Pass.
        • 6 Years Ago
        how about for Americans who want to see some races without going out of country all the time.
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