Series finale was to be held in downtown Montreal but faced local opposition due to burden on taxpayers. File photo: DS Automobiles

Montreal, Canada - The Formula E electric series said on Monday it was taking legal action after the Mayor of Montreal cancelled next year's two season-ending Canadian races.

Mayor Valerie Plante, who was elected in November, had said during her campaign that she wanted the races to move to Formula One's island track, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, or be scrapped.

"Montrealers have made it clear that we can't waste their money on poorly planned projects that don't serve them," she said.

The double-header scheduled for 28 and 29 July was to be held on the east side of downtown Montreal but faced local opposition due to poor ticket sales in 2017 and the burden on taxpayers.

'Surprised and disappointed'

Formula E said: "We are very surprised and disappointed by the unilateral decision and announcement of the Mayor of Montreal. This is a clear case of a new mayor undoing what the previous mayor did. While there is a contract in place, we will not make further comments at this point as this is now in the hands of our Canadian legal counsel."

A Formula E source said the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve had not been an option on the dates needed, due to renovation work and a festival, and there was now a real risk of the series failing to secure a replacement for its finale.

The series has already had to reschedule one round of its fourth season, with Uruguay's Punta del Este replacing Sao Paulo, which was due to make its debut in the all-electric series on March 17. That has now been postponed to 2019 because the city's authorities are selling the planned venue.

If Montreal cannot be replaced, New York would become the finale on 14-15 July of what was supposed to be a 14-race season, that started in Hong Kong on 2 December.