The Canadian Grand Prix 'Open Doors' day has been cancelled, organisers announced on Sunday.
The event usually takes place on Thursday morning, ahead of first practice the next day, but with students in Montreal currently 'on strike' in protest at escalating tuition fees, a conflict that is now entering its fifth month, there were fears the event could be disrupted by fresh demonstrations.
“Having to cancel our 'Open Doors' day make us extremely sad. We wish to express our sincere apologies to the F1 fans and, among them, a good share of our spectators who appreciate this annual gathering with the Word Championship teams,” Francois Dumontier, President & CEO of Octane Racing Group Inc. and President of the Grand Prix du Canada said in a statement on the events official website.
“When we finally made the decision, we weren't exactly happy, being fully aware that this activity is an important part of the appeal and the tradition of true friendliness at our event.
“Nevertheless, one of our primary obligations is to ensure the comfort and the security of the participants and the spectators, something we will do as we open the turnstiles Friday morning, and again during the whole weekend.
“Considering the various disruption threats made public recently, the free admission and the naturally openness character of the 'Open Doors' day, revealed some risks that we could not neglect. Under these circumstances, cancelling the 'Open Doors' day was the only action we could take.
“Unfortunately, for the fans and our spectators, it was impossible to escape from such responsibility.”