Montreal Decides Against Hosting Formula 1 Sprint Race Weekend

Canadian Grand Prix promoter Francois Dumontier has announced that Montreal will not be hosting a Formula 1 ‘sprint’ race weekend in the near future. This decision comes as Dumontier revealed that the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was initially set to host F1’s first sprint weekend in 2020, but the event was canceled due to the covid pandemic.

According to Dumontier, the main reason behind this choice is the significant increase in costs associated with the sprint format. Liberty Media, the commercial rights holder of Formula 1, is reportedly charging promoters an extra $4 million for the privilege of hosting a sprint event.

“We had plans to organize the first sprint race, but the current costs are simply too high,” confirmed Dumontier. “We are questioning whether it is a worthwhile investment at this point.”

Despite the allure of the sprint format offering more on-track action, Dumontier expressed his preference for the traditional F1 race weekend structure. He highlighted the importance of the current formula with free practice sessions, qualifying, and the race itself.

Dumontier also raised concerns about the actual benefit of the sprint format for spectators. He pointed out that the sprint sessions are shorter in duration compared to the traditional race weekend schedule.

In conclusion, Montreal’s decision not to host a Formula 1 sprint race weekend underscores the ongoing debate within the motorsport community regarding the value of introducing new formats to enhance the fan experience. While the sprint races offer a different dynamic, the cost implications and the traditional appeal of the current F1 weekend structure remain key considerations for promoters like Dumontier.