Canadian GP negotiations likely to fail

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The fate of the Canadian GP now completely lies in the hands of Bernie Ecclestone, as Montreal Mayor Tremblay has confirmed the government has played out its last cards. Calling F1's demands 'unreasonable', the only way to save the Grand Prix is for Ecclestone to face the real possibilities.

One month earlier, the Grand Prix was dropped from the 2009 Formula One calendar, an action that quickly put Tremblay in action to arrange a meeting with Ecclestone. It quickly emerged there was a money issue, rather than an arguement about the conditions of the track - which were appalling during the 2008 Grand Prix.

As it emerges now from 'Montreal Gazzette', Ecclestone requires a guaranteed $175 million for the next 5 years, while Quebec is only willing to offer $110 million, plus 75 per cent of the first $10 million of profits from the race and 25 per cent of remaining profits.

"The business plan of Formula One doesn't make sense any more," Tremblay said. "No one in the private sector wanted to give that guarantee."

Further attempts were then made to find an alternative promotor, including consulting Canadiens owner George Gillett Jr. and Cirque du Soleil, but they said the demands were unreasonable. Eventually a final offer was made on 4 November, totalling more than $100 million over five years.

"We did everything that was humanly and financially possible and responsible" to try to save the race, Tremblay said. "I'm very very disappointed for Montrealers, for Quebec and Canada. The Grand Prix gave us international visibility. I'm also disappointed for the Formula One fans."

Interestingly, the deal doesn't differ much from what Canada is offering. Formula One for instance required a total of $143,270,292 US for the five years. The local government on the other hand is willing to offer $91,217,112 US, plus 75 per cent of the first $10 million in profits from the race, and 25 per cent of profits above $10 million. The deal would also have given F1 between $16 million and $20 million from revenues from corporate boxes and advertising on the circuit.

Whether or not Ecclestone will agree to the deal, Tremblay also mentioned that he would start looking into other ways to attract tourism.