Canada GP rescue fails - Ecclestone slammed
Organisers of the axed Canadian grand prix have slammed F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone as "unreasonable" and "unrealistic", after their efforts to rescue the race for 2009 failed.
In a statement and with a press conference on Sunday, they confirmed that Ecclestone turned down a package to reinstate the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on next year's calendar.
"The unreasonable demands of formula one exceeded the taxpayer's ability to pay," Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay commented.
Quebec government minister Raymond Bachand added: "We cannot meet Mr Ecclestone's unworkable demands.
"Unless he eases his requirements and adopts a different approach, there will be no grand prix in Montreal in 2009."
Bachand also said Ecclestone's multi-million dollar demands were "unrealistic".
In the information released publicly on Sunday, the organisers revealed the precise monetary demands contained in Ecclestone's final contract offer, including the need for a government or bank guarantee of $175m over five years.
"Ultimately, no private promoter expressed interest in taking on such a great risk, considering the limited revenue generated by the event," the Canadian officials said.
When faced with a counter-offer, Ecclestone "refused to budge", they added.
"Faced with this intransigence, he was presented with an enhanced proposal for the 2009 edition, but Mr Ecclestone would not alter his position," the statement explained.
In the accompanying press conference, the officials were no less scathing of the diminutive 78-year-old billionaire, but the door to a return in 2010 was left open.
"After 2009, there may be another round of negotiations," Bachand said.