A decision about whether Canada’s June 14 race in Montreal will go ahead as scheduled is now looming.
With the opening eight races either postponed or cancelled, Canada is currently scheduled to be the opening event of 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“At this point, we all hope the race can go ahead on June 14,” promoter Francois Dumontier said in a conference call.
“At the same time we need to be realistic and look at the situation on a daily basis. If it can’t go as planned, we will postpone it.”
He said ticket sales are continuing, but he is also “clear” with the public that the pandemic is “changing from hour to hour” around the world.
“The assembly of our installations requires a little more than a month, which still gives us time to make a decision.
“But several of our suppliers are currently shut down and we will have to see if they can resume their activities by the end of April,” said Dumontier.
He said Baku was forced to postpone its event earlier than Canada because the Azerbaijan race takes place on city streets.
“Assembling our installations requires less time so we have more room for manoeuvre,” he said.
However, Dumontier admits that the probability of postponement is high.
“Several factors must be considered both here in Quebec and around the world,” he said. “The question of borders is obviously decisive, as is the possibility of travelling from one country to another.
“At any rate, we do not envisage a cancellation, unless the entire season is cancelled.”
Dumontier said the final decision will be made between Easter and May 1. And he is confident that, if postponed races are rescheduled, Montreal will be among them.
“Everyone will have to make concessions,” said Dumontier, “but I can assure you that Montreal is a priority for F1. We have proven in the past that we are among the most popular races.”
One of those concessions could be the curtailing of the race weekend from three to two days.
“I understand that we are in an exceptional situation,” he said. “This is one solution among others that is being considered. I don’t want it, but we would have to adapt.”