Montreal: The Canadian Grand Prix is staying in Montreal through 2024 after an agreement with the Formula One Group worth more than $200 million.
The grand prix' future in Montreal was secured with the help of substantial governmental investment: $62 million from the federal government, $50 million from Quebec, $62 million from Tourisme Montreal, and at least $32 million from the City of Montreal.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre was on hand at the racetrack on Ile Sainte-Helene for the announcement on Saturday, alongside ministers of infrastructure and transport from the provincial and federal governments.
As a condition to the agreement's success, the City of Montreal also agreed to renovate the track, including making improvements to the team paddocks, the control tower, and the on-site medical centre, for which it will spend $25 million to $40 million.
Coderre promised work would begin this autumn and would be completed in time for the 2017 race.
"The importance of this showcase to Montreal is beyond measure," said Coderre, who worked on the deal for several months with F1. "If Montreal wants to present itself as a metropolis, and join the ranks of other great cities around the world, we have to maintain this high level of authority. It's our signature. It's part of our DNA. It is one of the big international events that builds on Montreal's outstanding reputation."
Montreal's Formula One weekend rakes in roughly $70 million to $90 million a year.
World champion Sebastian Vettel says Montreal is one of his favorite races of the year.
"It's one of the few places in the calendar where the whole city really parties all weekend long and embraces the Grand Prix and really appreciates it," he said. "For us, that's a great feeling, to stand on the grid and have so many fans during the drivers' parade and when you race. Seeing the full grandstands makes your job extra special."
Story first published on: Monday, 09 June 2014 20:59 IST