Formula 1 says next week’s Canadian Grand Prix is not at risk despite the wildfires that are heavily impacting air quality in North America.
The Canadian government says there are over 200 fires that are burning out of control — mainly in Ontario and Quebec — leading to nearly 100 million people in the United States and Canada experiencing “very unhealthy” air quality. On top of the health implications that have led to millions being advised to wear high-grade masks if they have to venture outdoors, the logistical impact has seen flights cancelled and delayed at some major airports.
With F1 due to race in Montreal next weekend — the event starting on June 15 and track action a day later – the situation is being closely monitored by the sport’s incident management group but as it stands there is deemed to be no concerns about it going ahead.
“The event is not at risk,” an F1 spokesperson said. “We have been assured by all the relevant information that the situation in Montreal at this time is different to other parts of the country and northern U.S. and the risk remains low and air quality is good in Montreal.”
Air quality was lower than usual levels earlier this week in Montreal but returned to good levels on Wednesday, although the BBC reports that major cities including Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Boston, New York and Washington will be susceptible to wildfire smoke into next week based on the current forecast.
F1 made the decision to cancel the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix last month due to devastating flooding in the region, and had already called off the Chinese Grand Prix to cut the 2023 calendar down to 22 races.