The big F1 circus is back in Montreal

Despite a two-hour delay from the originally planned flight schedule, the first of eight cargo planes, a Boeing 777 in the livery of the Qatari company, landed at Mirabel International Airport on Monday afternoon.

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For the first time since 2019, Montreal will vibrate to the rhythm of the Canadian Grand Prix, the country’s premier tourist event.


Workers unloaded a cargo plane carrying equipment from Formula 1 teams Red Bull and Ferrari at Mirabel on Monday as preparations for the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal's Gilles-Villeneuve circuit were in full swing.

Photo Martin Alari

Workers unloaded a cargo plane carrying equipment from Formula 1 teams Red Bull and Ferrari at Mirabel on Monday as preparations for the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal’s Gilles-Villeneuve circuit were in full swing.

A total of eight jumbo jets transport the impressive equipment required in Formula 1. While four of these are direct from Baku, where Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix was held, the others had to stop in either Frankfurt or Germany in Doncaster, England.

Four landed on Monday, three more on Tuesday and the eighth on Wednesday just before noon.

As soon as they arrive, the planes are unloaded and the equipment is trucked to Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. Each of the 10 stables on the board can bring nearly 50 tons of gear to Montreal.


Downtown revitalization

The enthusiasm for the Grand Prix of Canada is palpable a few days before the first use of the single-seaters on the track of the Île Notre-Dame on Friday afternoon.

This ninth leg of the World Cup will not only be sold out, but hotel occupancy rates will be unprecedented in the greater Montreal area.

“I’m happy to see that the Grand Prix will contribute to the revitalization of the city centre,” stressed François Dumontier in an interview with the protocol. We know how much the public missed Formula 1.

“The installation of the facilities is progressing well and everything will be ready in time to welcome the visit,” added the President and CEO of the Grand Prix du Canada. Despite the forced break [en raison de la pandémie de COVID-19]our organization has not lost its touch.»


Foreign customers

Not only Quebec fans are eager to reconnect with Formula 1, but so are people from outside the province.

“Despite the restrictions imposed on foreign travelers when it comes to selling tickets, Dumontier says this clientele has surprisingly increased by 3% compared to 2019.”

He also pointed out that about 30% of ticket holders (bought in 2019) chose to keep them rather than ask for a refund.


Free mine tour

The news has been slow to confirm, but the “open house” will indeed take place on Thursday from 9:30am to 12:00pm at the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit.

The public has free access to the pit lane to see the cars and mechanics at work up close.

“We were one of the first countries to organize this activity and we always wanted to keep this tradition alive,” recalls Dumontier. But first we had to get the green light from the International Automobile Federation [FIA] in relation to compliance with health protocols related to COVID-19.”

This year the pilots don’t have to be there on Thursday like in previous years. If some of them are still around, autograph hunters probably won’t have a chance to approach them.

F1 is attracted to dictatorships and disputed countries


Formula 1, which arrives in Montreal next weekend, is coming under increasing criticism, particularly because its grands prix are held in countries that flout human rights. Even some pilots recently added their voice to the controversy. A dissidence that disrupts the circuit.

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Exorbitant prices on resale sites


The Canadian Grand Prix, which has been sidelined for two years due to the pandemic, could well see a record attendance this weekend.

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Lewis Hamilton assures that he will come to Montreal


Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz AG

The day after a statement from Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff that his driver Lewis Hamilton could miss the Canadian Grand Prix, the main prospect was rather reassuring.

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Here is the F1 party calendar


The week of the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix is ​​back, and that means the parties celebrating the event are making a return across the city. Here’s a calendar of the most popular events bringing together motorsport fans, DJs and stars from here and elsewhere.

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A tsunami of tourists, but who will welcome them?


Montreal restaurants and hotels are expecting record tourist numbers for the F1 weekend, causing a headache for an industry struggling to relieve bottlenecks.

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Office workers come to the rescue during the Formula 1 weekend


Labor shortages prompted office workers at a hotel and restaurant group to help their field colleagues for the very busy Grand Prix weekend.

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