Formula One racing comes and goes from the United States, meandering as it has between locations like Austin, Indianapolis, Phoenix and Watkins Glen. But the one stalwart of grand prix racing on this continent has been the Canadian Grand Prix. Held with only three exceptions (in 1975, 1987 and 2009) since 1961, North American racing fans can (almost) always count on the Canadian Grand Prix to provide them with their F1 action. And that's not about to change any time soon.
According to Autosport, the embattled and controversial Bernie Ecclestone has signed a new deal with the promoters of the Canadian Grand Prix to keep it on the calendar for a further ten years. The deal is said to be worth £100 million and is reportedly backed by government authorities. The Montreal municipal, Quebec provincial and Canadian federal governments have all been major supporters of the event in the past.
As a result, the Canadian Grand Prix will remain a guaranteed fixture on the F1 calendar through 2024, but not without its conditions: as part of the agreement, organizers will have to invest around $25-40 million on a new pit lane and medical complex to update the existing structure in time for the 2017 race. In return, the race promoters will retain a larger share of the ticket sales, the lion's share of which are understood to typically go to Ecclestone's Formula One Management.
The first home of the Canadian Grand Prix was at Mosport Park in Ontario, which traded off a couple of times with the Circuit Mont-Tremblant currently owned by billionaire Ferrari collector Lawrence Stroll and situated a couple of hours outside of Montreal. The race moved in 1978 to Montreal's Île Notre-Dame, which was renamed after the late hometown hero Gilles Villeneuve following his death in 1982.