Dear Bernie and Max,
Sorry we won't see either of your charming faces anyplace in North America next year. I know you guys have much bigger fish to fry in today's fast-changing world than messing around in the United States, least of all Canada.
I mean, if any country is less relevant than the United States to the forward thinkers of F1, it must be Canada. Surely, the great white north is too milquetoast, too remote, too much a part of yesterday's world. After all, would you run an F1 race in Sweden or Finland? Of course not.
Also, Canada has always been the butt of jokes in the United States and I know some F1 people found Montreal a bit on the quaint side, if not entirely provincial. So you must be relieved to move on.
I've got to give it to you guys for the great success you've had with the global expansion of F1 into Malaysia, Bahrain, Turkey, Shanghai, Singapore and Abu Dhabi too in '09. If I read my world map correctly you've established four races in Asia washed by the North and East China Seas and two more races on the Persian Gulf plus Istanbul where F1 will be racing next June 7 rather than Montreal.
You guys have correctly got your eyes fixed on the markets that are booming or seem ripe for growth, even in today's bleak economic times. Russia and India remain as two nuts you need to crack, but I'm sure you're working on both.
Surely, you are the Masters of the Universe when it comes to big-time sport. You guys make the International Olympic Committee look like a bunch of amateurs and Chris Pook hit the nail on the head after his visit last month to the Italian GP at Monza.
"The paddock is really impressive," Pook remarked. "The hospitality and the level of presentation has risen to an amazing height. They're pulling in investment from around the world - China, Russia, the Arabian countries. It's staggering and it just doesn't stop. It's the premier global series, without any doubt, and I was staggered as well by the number of Americans there were at Monza."
It was ironically amusing that Pook pointed to Montreal's Canadian Grand Prix as a fine example that F1 can be successful in America.
"Look at Canada. Normand (Legault) pulls 115,000 people there for each of the three days. So it can be done. You've got to have the proper venue and proper track."