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Canadian Grand Prix set to go ahead as planned in 2017

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The Canadian Grand Prix is set to go ahead as planned next year after an agreement was reached between the event organizers and Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone this week.

The race in Montreal had been listed on the provisional calendar as being ‘subject to agreement’ after the promised improvement work at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was not completed. The upgrades are expected to be completed for the 2019 race.

Mayor of Montreal Denis Coderre took to Twitter earlier this week to confirm that an agreement had now been reached for the 2017 event to go ahead as planned on June 11.

“There will be a Grand Prix of Canada in 2017,” Coderre tweeted, adding that there was an agreement in principle between F1 officials and the race promoter, Octane.

“Montreal and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve produce one of the most exciting grands prix of the season,” Octane chief Francois Dumontier added in a statement.

“In 2017, everyone will have even more good reasons to be there to celebrate 50 years of F1 racing in Canada.”

Canadian interest in F1 is set to be boosted next year when 18-year-old Lance Stroll makes his debut with Williams. Stroll will become the first Canadian to race in F1 since Jacques Villeneuve made his final start in 2006.

The final version of the 2017 F1 calendar is set to be issued following the final World Motor Sport Council meeting at the beginning of December in Vienna.

Following Coderre’s confirmation, 19 races are now secure on the schedule, with question marks still lingering over Germany and Brazil’s inclusion.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).