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FIA drops Canadian GP from 2009 schedule

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TSN.ca Staff
10/7/2008 3:03:10 PM
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The Canadian Grand Prix has been dropped from the 2009 Formual One calendar.

Following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris, France on Tuesday, the FIA announced an 18 race schedule which did not include the popular Montreal event.

Instead, the Turkish Grand Prix has been moved from its August date to June in order to maintain the summer break which F1 teams have enjoyed the past few years.

The announcement caught Canadian Grand Prix officials by surprise.

"The executives of the Grand Prix of Canada have learned via the media of the omission of the Grand Prix of Canada from the F1 Championship 2009 calendar. Therefore, the organization will issue no comment until having spoken to Formula One Management (FOM) and the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA)," read the short statement.

With the U.S. Grand Prix still in limbo, the loss of the Canadian race marks the first time in almost five decades that there will not be a North American Formula One stop.

This marks the first time since 1987 that a Formula One race will not be staged in Canada. That was due to a sponsorship conflict between breweries Labatt and Molson. Financial issues also forced the 1975 race to be left off the calendar.

In 2004, FIA removed the Canadian race from the schedule due to anti-tobacco legislation. However, race officials were able to raise enough money to keep the race on the calendar.

In 2005, the Canadian Grand Prix was the third most watched sporting event in the world behind only Super Bowl XXXIX  between New England and Philadelphia and the UEFA Champions League final featuring Liverpool and AC Milan.

2009 Formula One calendar as agreed to by the World Motor Sport Council:

Australia            29 March
Malaysia             5 April
Bahrain              19 April
Spain                10 May
Monaco               24 May
Turkey               7 June
Great Britain        21 June
France               28 June
Germany              12 July
Hungary              26 July
Europe (Valencia)    23 August
Belgium              30 August
Italy                13 September
Singapore            27 September
Japan                11 October
China                18 October
Brazil               1 November
Abu Dhabi            15 November
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
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