The promoter of the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix this weekend has insisted that the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is 'adequate' for F1 – in response to denigration from an American journalist who hinted that the facilities at the track on Montreal's Île Notre-Dame are some four decades out-of-date.
Two years ago, a New York Times
correspondent caustically wrote that 'it is this place that reminds me more than any other track on the F1 calendar of the look and feel of what it was like to go to Mosport to attend the first-ever Canadian Grand Prix in 1967' – and the cramped confines of Montreal's pit and paddock admittedly pale in comparison with the state-of-the-art, ultra-modern new venues in the likes of Istanbul, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur and particularly Abu Dhabi, with the increased number of teams and cars in this year's field scarcely making things any easier.
However, Canada has invariably been one of the more popular and atmospheric stops on the annual F1 calendar, and much as with Silverstone – whose facilities have been repeatedly slated by the sport's outspoken commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone in recent years – race promoter François Dumontier argues the on-track action and off-track ambiance more than make up for any failings elsewhere.
“They need to put water in their wine,” he told French-language television station RDS
. “They are fortunate to go on tours where governments have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in facilities. The essence is the racetrack, and I think that our facilities are adequate.”