Montreal Promoter Rejects Formula 1 Sprint Format Citing High Costs

Francois Dumontier, the promoter of the Canadian Grand Prix, has made it clear that Montreal will not be embracing the Formula 1 ‘sprint’ race format in the near future. In an interview with Le Journal de Montreal, Dumontier disclosed that the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was initially slated to host F1’s first sprint race weekend in 2000, but the plan was abandoned due to the covid pandemic.

According to reports, Liberty Media is now requesting promoters to fork out an additional $4 million to host a sprint format event, claiming that it enhances the overall racing experience. However, Dumontier expressed his reservations about the steep costs associated with the sprint format, stating, “We had to organize the first one, but now it’s too expensive. We wonder if it’s worth it.”

Dumontier also emphasized his fondness for the current F1 format, which includes free practice, qualifying, and the main race. He defended the traditional setup, asserting that it is the most suitable one for the Canadian Grand Prix. Additionally, he challenged the belief propagated by F1 that sprint races offer more excitement for spectators throughout the weekend, pointing out that the sessions are actually shorter.

In conclusion, Montreal has decided to forego the sprint format in favor of maintaining the longstanding structure of the Canadian Grand Prix. Despite the allure of increased action, the high costs and perceived lack of benefits have led Dumontier to rule out any immediate changes to the race weekend format in Montreal.