Canada set to be confirmed for 2004 19 Nov 2003
Canada's place on the 2004 Formula One calendar looks secure after race organisers announced on Tuesday that they had agreed a financial package to compensate teams for the absence of tobacco sponsorship.
The Montreal round was not on the provisional 2004 schedule initially released by Formula One racing's governing body, the FIA, earlier this year, but was then reinstated last month, subject to a suitable deal being struck.
According to race promoter Norman Legault, such an agreement has now been reached. "The Canadian Grand Prix will be on the calendar in 2004 and beyond (until 2006)," he was reported as saying by news agency Reuters.
Legault said that the necessary funds would be raised through new and existing sponsors, with the local and federal government also making substantial contributions.
The announcement is great news for Canadian Formula One fans, who had faced the double blow of no home race and no 2004 drive for local hero and 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, after whose father, Gilles, Montreal's circuit is named.
Once the Canadian Grand Prix, scheduled for June 13, is officially confirmed by the FIA, only three race dates on the 2004 calendar will remain provisional. The French Grand Prix in July is subject to contract, while the inaugural Grand Prix of Bahrain in April and the first Grand Prix of China in September are both subject to circuit approval.