Threats to disrupt this weekend’s Canadian grand prix will affect attendance, promoter Francois Dumontier has revealed.
“They said they wanted to disrupt the grand prix,” Dumontier said, referring to protesting students and internet terrorists. “They already have,” he told the Montreal Gazette.
He said ticket sales began to decline precisely when the threats became international news. Organisers have already cancelled the traditional ‘open day’ on Thursday, which traditionally involves free-of-charge access for spectators including the F1 pitlane.
“I can’t remember the last time we didn’t sell out. It’s been that long,” Dumontier said.
He defended the decision to cancel the open day.
“I didn’t want to jeopardise the entire weekend,” Dumontier said. “Imagine if someone with bad intentions was standing in front of a driver, or an open garage? The teams have told me they understand the decision to cancel, but they say it’s a shame because they enjoyed it. I took no pleasure in cancelling it.”