It became official today: The mission to save the Canadian Grand Prix failed.
Gerald Tremblay, mayor of Montreal, and Raymond Bachand, minister in the province's government, met Bernie Ecclestone in England a few weeks ago in a last valiant effort to save Canada's Grand Prix.
With Bernie Ecclestone's demands, no private corporation or individual was able to run the event with a profitable outcome. Even the provincial and municipal governments didn't see their profits at the end of the operation at Bernie's demand.
Bernie's circus will go elsewhere from 2009 on. Both parties did not agree, and the event is not on the 2009 calendar.
It is a big loss for the city of Montreal and for North America. Next season, the Formula One will not race on North American soil. Despite the popularity of Montreal's race among fans, crew members, and drivers, the last page has been turned on that great era.
Gilles Villeneuve won the first Canadian Grand Prix that was held on the famous circuit named after his tragic death. Other great drivers in Formula One history have also won in Montreal: Michael Schumacher on multiple occasions, Giancarlo Fisichella, Rubens Barrichello, Jean Alesi, Damon Hill, and Lewis Hamilton, only to name those.
The races held on the Gilles Villeneuve circuit have always defined the course of the championship. Exciting finishes, high speed, and dramatic accidents were trademarks of this circuit and defined a trend in this championship for the last 30 seasons.
We will miss the action that this race brought to the F-1 for the last 30 years.
A golden era in Formula One racing is officially over.