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Latest update : 2008-10-08

The Canadian Grand Prix has been dropped from the Formula One world championship schedule and replaced with the inaugural Abu Dhabi race. The FIA's decision means there will be no race in North America.

North America will be absent from next year's Formula One world championship after the Canadian Grand Prix was dropped from a revised calendar issued by the sport's governing body on Tuesday.


No reason was given by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) but the race at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, a favourite with teams and sponsors, had previously been paired with the U.S. Grand Prix in Indianapolis that was axed this year.


The 18-race calendar, issued after a meeting of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council in Paris, reinserted a three-week summer break for teams by moving the Turkish Grand Prix from August to fill Canada's slot on June 7.


Instead of a planned record-equalling 19 rounds, the championship will continue with 18.


The Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps moved forward from September to Aug. 30, the weekend after the European Grand Prix in Valencia.


The Italian Grand Prix retreated a week to take Belgium's original Sept. 13 date.


All other dates remained the same as on the provisional calendar released in June, with Australia kicking off the season on March 29 and Abu Dhabi making its debut as the championship finale on Nov. 15.

Cost cutting

The FIA also announced that its president Max Mosley had been given the authority to negotiate with the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) for the introduction of "radical measures to achieve a substantial reduction of costs in the championship from 2010".


It said that failing agreement with the FOTA, the FIA would enforce necessary measures to achieve that goal.


The World Motor Sport Council also agreed to allow Formula One teams to equalise engine performance across the field for 2009, pending the introduction of cost-saving measures from 2010.


Marco Piccinini, the FIA deputy president for sport who represented the body at this year's Monaco Grand Prix after Mosley was caught in a sex scandal, will stand down a year ahead of time.


The FIA said a successor would be elected.


Mosley, who won a vote of confidence in April to stay in office, has said he will stand down in October next year when his term expires.


However he said last month that he was under heavy pressure from members to stay on.

Date created : 2008-10-07