F for me as a burning ice hockey player Fan, Canada is always worth a trip. But even before departure, my anticipation was clouded. While colleague Schmidt stayed comfortably in business class, I couldn't even choose a seat when I checked in Air Canada online in the economy section. So it was relatively relaxed on a middle seat across the pond in the fully packed machine.
On site, however, the anger was immediately forgotten. Thanks to the time difference, you land in Montreal just an hour and a half after taking off from Frankfurt, even though you were actually seven and a half hours in the air. So there was still time on Wednesday afternoon for a small first detour to the track.
Thankfully, the organizers had already started the shuttle service to the Ile Notre Dame, although hardly a journalist got lost in the press center on Wednesday . There is already a lot to discover and photograph while setting up. And there are always some engineers and team managers running around in the paddock who still have enough time to provide us with the first hot information in detail.
Car collection complete
Getting really serious but it is always only on Thursday when the cars are pushed for technical inspection. I don't know whether it's because of the unusual date in the middle of the European season or the calming effect of the rushing river, but in Montreal the mechanics are always particularly relaxed when you look at the cars in the queue in front of the FIA Garage is approaching.
For me, the goal is always to have all 10 cars with the newest wings in oursPack Thursday Gallery. Unfortunately, because the assembly in the garages is delayed again and again for various reasons or because a car slips through me while other appointments are intervening in the paddock, it is unfortunately only rarely possible to complete the collection. But it worked in Canada - like later only in Mexico.
The tenth and last car to leave the garage was the Haas. We had already learned from team boss Guenther Steiner that the US racer had been equipped with many new parts for the almost home game in Canada. I had the list of upgrades in my head as I approached with my camera. But while all the other teams were completely relaxed, the chief mechanic suddenly gave me a tirade of swear words.
When I asked what the problem was, I was thrown further niceties at my head. I usually try to get on good terms with the hard-working guys in the garages. They wear you off and travel much less comfortably to the races than most of the others in the F1 circuit. I took a photo of the bad-tempered screwdriver and later showed it to team boss Guenther Steiner. He just shrugged and grinned, 'He's usually a really nice guy.'
In defense of the Haas boys, I have to say that it was the only incident of its kind in the whole year. Anyone can have a bad day. In general, I have to say positively that the teams have been a little less irritated in the last few seasons when the cars are photographed in detail. In the meantime, word has got around that technology upgrades from professional snappers can also be recorded while driving, which cannot be prevented anyway. In my first season in 2009 it was very different. Red Bull in particular defended its secrets tooth and nail.
Hamilton without engine upgrade without a chance
In addition to the Haas update, the engines also made headlines on the technology front. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff had announced before the race weekend that his works team would start with new, improved power units. But those in charge had to row back quickly on site. Apparently there were problems on the test stands. The Mercedes cars were still on the road with the first specification in the seventh race of the season.
Hamilton was permanently disrupted by the PS deficit compared to Ferrari, which sparked their second expansion stage. After a mixed qualifying, the future world champion only started from fourth place. In the race, he was only fifth - behind the two Red Bulls - and lost the championship lead. It was arguably the Briton's worst weekend of the season. In the 14 races that followed, however, he delivered an almost flawless performance.
In addition to the spectacular starting crash of local hero Lance Stroll and Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley, model Winnie Harlow also made headlines after the race . The lady had been assigned to waving the checkered flag and unfortunately held the checkered cloth in front of the pilot's nose one lap too early. The boulevard in particular liked this story.
Only a few hours after crossing the finish line was it explained how this could come about. There was apparently a minor misunderstanding in communication between the local marshals that led the Canadian beauty to wave the race off too early. 'Mrs. Harlow is not to blame,' admitted race director Charlie Whiting somewhat contrite.
Otherwise Canada was worth a trip again. As always, the city turned into a big party on the Grand Prix weekend. Unfortunately, the many visitors also ensure that hotel prices are constantly rising. Practically every year we have to go down a notch in terms of comfort and location because the tariffs go through the roof. For example, you pay 1,600 euros for five nights for a normal three-star Best Western hotel in downtown. Motorsport journalism is unfortunately expensive. Without the annoying advertising banners on our website, we would have had to cease operations. I can only woo our readers' understanding. Because even in a middle seat - as of course on the return flight - it flies better than not flying at all.