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Montreal seeking new 10-year deal

NEWS STORY
18/06/2013

Organisers of the Canadian Grand Prix have revealed that they are in talks with Bernie Ecclestone in terms of a 10-year extension to their current contract.

The move comes at a time when other countries are still seeking to sign up to the sport, a year (or two) before the newest addition, Russia, hosts its first ever Formula One race.

The need for a contract extension is also spurred on by the proposed float of the sport on the Singapore Stock Exchange. Previously, organisers have sought five-year extensions, however, according to promoter Francois Dumontier all that has changed.

"All new agreements now being signed are for 10 years," he told ESPN. "I believe they want to consolidate the good grands prix.

"Montreal is such a race, undoubtedly," he continued. "We saw as much this year with the full grandstands and the comments made by the drivers and teams.

"F1 has a project to enter the stock market. Ten-year contracts have a certain value when entering the stock market," he added.

However, such a deal is by no means guaranteed. Speaking ahead of this year's race, Ecclestone described the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve as "tatty" and "a bit like Silverstone used to be".

This signals that not only will the organisers have to stump up the necessary cash to finance the contract - which typically rises by ten percent each year - but also spend a considerable amount on bringing the circuit up to Ecclestone's standards, even though, unlike almost all the new additions to the calendar, Montreal has character and produces decent racing.

Furthermore, the physical characteristics of the Ile de Notre-Dame upon which the circuit is situated, will restrict the sort of updates that have been carried out elsewhere, Monza and Silverstone both springing to mind.

Ahead of the proposed float, first revealed by Pitpass business editor Chris Sylt, a number of race contracts come up for renewal, with Australia's expiring in 2015, as does Spain's, while Bahrain's runs out in 2016.

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