Canadian Grand Prix | Excitement invites itself to open doors

“This morning, I think there are more people in the metro than usual!” François Dumontier gave a smile on Thursday, when a crowd of spectators arrived in front of the pastures at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, marking the open house.

Posted yesterday at 11:58

Catherine Harvey Benard

Catherine Harvey Benard

A Canadian Grand Prix promoter walks down the pit lane and meets fans, many of whom are wearing the colors of their favorite team.

“We’re excited, that’s for sure!” he suggests.

“Since the teams arrived, that’s the comment we’ve received. We feel it on the field. They are really happy to be back in Montreal. We can’t wait.”

Photo by Olivier Jean, Press

Francois Dumontier

Like every year – before the pandemic took its toll in the last two years – the Grand Prix draws crowds to Montreal. Maximum capacity in height and width has been reached for all wings. According to Dumontier, the enthusiasm is even greater than it was in 2019.

First, there are two Canadian drivers, Lance Stroll and Nicolas Latifi, who will line up at the starting grid. But the “staple,” according to the promoter, is “the series on Netflix.” campaign to survive.

Everyone tells us about it. It has created a new following for F1. There are people I know who don’t know about Formula 1. They just didn’t care. listen campaign to survive Suddenly they became amateurs.

Francois Dumontier

“It’s not just in Montreal,” he adds. This is a phenomenon we see in all Grand Prix racing. »

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He believes that the controversial final race of the 2021 season, when the championship was decided on the last lap, also had a role in the madness.

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Montreal has made excellent performances on the track over the years. The circuit puts pilots’ accuracy to the test and provides several straight lines that aid overtaking. Not to mention the crowd, he’s always very involved.

Photo by Olivier Jean, Press

Max Verstappen

The two Red Bull drivers, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, currently sit first in the drivers’ championship, followed by Charles Leclerc at Ferrari. After two retirements last weekend in Baku, Azerbaijan, Ferrari will surely want to return to Montreal, where they have huge support from spectators – a legacy left by Gilles Villeneuve.

“Montreal has always produced races that we weren’t expecting, so I think we are entitled to expect a race [intéressante]. Ferraris will dominate, it’s a good circuit for them,” emphasizes François Dumontier.

There was some doubt about the attendance of seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton in Montreal earlier this week. The Mercedes driver had trouble extricating himself from his race car after last Sunday’s race due to severe back pain. However, he was reassured the next day, saying he was on his way to Canada to join his team.

Photo by Olivier Jean, Press

Lewis Hamilton

“Lewis, in 2007, that was his first career win here. […] He said he wouldn’t miss Montreal to the world. I think that [Mercedes] He will want to perform well. »

“With the new cars that are a little bit wider and a little longer, I can’t wait to see Turn 1 and Turn 2 at the start,” he added.

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Without giving too many details, François Dumontier promised to honor Gilles Villeneuve, who died on the track 40 years ago.

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