The big F1 circus is back in Montreal

Despite a two-hour delay from the originally planned 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.

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

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 make stops in either Frankfurt, Germany or Doncaster, England.

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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.

Canadian Grand Prix

Photo Martin Chevalier

The enthusiasm for the Canadian Grand Prix is ​​palpable a few days before the monopostos are used for the first time on the Île Notre-Dame track 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 are aware of how much the public missed Formula 1.

“The installation of the facilities is well underway 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. »

Canadian Grand Prix

Photo Martin Chevalier

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

“Despite the restrictions placed on foreign travelers when ticket sales started,” Dumontier said, this customer base 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 requesting a refund.

Canadian Grand Prix

Photo Martin Chevalier

It took a long time to confirm the news, but the “Open Day” 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’ve always wanted to uphold that tradition,” said Dumontier. But first we had to get the green light from the International Automobile Federation [FIA] regarding compliance with health protocols related to COVID-19. »

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

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