Canadian Grand Prix | Popular open days

“I think there are more people in the subway than usual this morning! “François Dumontier launches with a smile on Thursday, when a crowd of spectators arrives in front of the paddocks of the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit, on the occasion of the open day.

Posted at 11:58 AM

Katherine Harvey Pinard

Katherine Harvey Pinard
The press

The promoter of the Canadian Grand Prix walks the pit lane and meets the fans, many of whom are dressed in the colors of their favorite team.

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

“Since the teams arrived, this is the comment we have had. We hear it in the field. They are very happy to be back in Montreal. We can’t wait. »


Photo by Olivier Jean, THE PRESS

François Dumontier

As every year, before the pandemic took its toll on the last two, the Grand Prix draws crowds to Montreal. The maximum capacity in height and width for all the stands has been reached. According to Dumontier, the excitement is even greater than in 2019.

First, there are two Canadian riders, Lance Stroll and Nicholas Latifi, who will line up on the starting grid. But “the key element,” according to the developer, “is the series on Netflix” Drive to survive.

“Everyone tells us,” he said. He created new F1 fans. There are people I know who didn’t know anything about Formula 1. They didn’t care. They listened Drive to survive and suddenly they became amateurs. »

“And it’s not just in Montreal,” he adds. This is a phenomenon we see in every Grand Prix. »

The controversial final race of the 2021 season, when the championship was decided in the last round, also has its role to play in this craze, he believes.

A good show

Montreal has offered excellent performances on the track over the years. The circuit tests the accuracy of the riders, and offers several straight lines favorable to overtaking. Not to mention the audience, always very involved.


Photo by Olivier Jean, THE PRESS

Max Verstappen

The two Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez are currently in first place in the drivers’ championship, followed by Charles Leclerc at Ferrari. After two withdrawals last weekend in Baku, Azerbaijan, the Ferraris will definitely want to recover in Montreal, where they enjoy great support from spectators, a legacy left by Gilles Villeneuve.

“Montreal has always produced races that we did not expect, so I think we have the right to expect a race [intéressante]. The Ferraris will dominate, it’s a circuit that suits them “, says François Dumontier.

There were some doubts about the presence of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in Montreal earlier this week. The Mercedes driver had difficulty getting out of his race car after last Sunday’s race due to severe back pain. However, he calmed down the next day, saying that he was going to Canada to join his team.


Photo by Olivier Jean, THE PRESS

Lewis Hamilton

“Lewis, in 2007, was the first victory of his career here. […] He said he would not miss Montreal around the world. I think that [Mercedes] he will want to act well. »

“With the new cars, which are a little wider and a little longer, I look forward to seeing turns 1 and 2 at the exit,” he added.

Without giving too many details, François Dumontier promises that a tribute will be paid to Gilles Villeneuve, who died on the track 40 years ago.

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