Montreal mayor says F1 race could return to Montreal by 2010

Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay confirmed Friday that talks are underway to bring the Grand Prix back to Montreal.

Tremblay said Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone is the one who suggested a possible return of the Canadian Grand Prix to Montreal as soon as 2010.

Over the last several months, municipal, provincial and federal government officials have travelled to London to persuade Ecclestone to reinstate the race, but he refused.

Since then, Tremblay said the tables have turned because of the economy and ongoing troubles in Formula One circles.

"Essentially, I think that Bernie Ecclestone and his shareholders want the Formula One to come back to Montreal. This is what has changed," Tremblay said.

He also suggested Ecclestone wants to come back because drivers and teams are pressuring him to hold a race in North America to raise the profile of the troubled racing industry.

Tremblay insisted he’s being prudent about the talks, keeping an eye on the growing rift between Formula One's governing body and the Formula One Teams’ Association.

Tremblay added it's important for him that the eight teams threatening to pull out of F1 to form their own group remain part of any future Montreal race.

He said contracts would have to be signed to ensure the race stays in Montreal for several years.