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Canadian GP off 2004 calendar

Montreal: The Canadian Grand Prix has been taken off next season’s Formula One calendar, race promoter Normand Legault announced on Thursday.

Legault told a press conference that he had received a letter from F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone confirming that the Montreal race did not figure on the 2004 Formula One menu.

“This letter says that Canada’s Grand Prix won’t show up on the Formula One world championship 2004 calendar,” Legault said. “This decision seems to be the consequence of the tobacco laws coming into full effect.”

The omission of the race at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit is due to tough new laws curbing tobacco advertising at sporting events set to be introduced here on October 1.

News of Canada’s demise came one week after the 2004 Belgium GP at Spa-Francorchamps was re-instated a year after it was stripped of its F1 status. Spa was taken off the calendar after changes to tough laws on tobacco advertising similar to those in Canada were watered down.

Asked what it would take for Formula One to return in 2005, Legault said: “Tobacco-sponsored teams could accept to run without logos. But at the moment there’s no plan”.

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