• Canadian Grand Prix

Ecclestone wants Montreal improvements

ESPN Staff
May 10, 2012 « McLaren makes pit crew changes | Karthikeyan plays down funding rumours »
The Olympic basin restricts the area available for a paddock in Montreal © Sutton Images

The future of the Canadian Grand Prix could be in doubt after reports that Bernie Ecclestone has demanded improvements to the circuit at Montreal before extending the race contract.

The paddock at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is one of the smallest on the calendar, with floating platforms currently used on the Olympic basin to enlarge the available area. A report in La Presse claims that Ecclestone has now demanded that around €11.6 million is spent on repair work and a bigger paddock before a new contract will be agreed beyond 2014.

Race promoter Francois Dumontier has played down the demands, saying that work on the facilities was to be expected and that the time left on the current contract allows the circuit to react.

"Firstly, it is important to point out that two years remain on the current contract," Dumontier said. "Taking into consideration that the permanent facilities of the circuit, such as the control tower and the garages, are nearly 25 years old, it is quite likely that work to be carried out on these will be an important part of the negotiations aiming at extending the current contract. Furthermore, it appears premature to mention a precise amount regarding the costs of any potential work."