F1 diary GP Canada: A city lives its Grand Prix

F1 diary GP Canada 2016
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D he GP Canada is the start of a marathon. Six races in eight weeks. We only know what that means with the checkered flag at the GP Germany. The summer break has never been more welcome.

When we travel to Montreal via Zurich, the batteries are still full. The flight begins with a powerful lightning strike in the fuselage of the Airbus A330 just below my window 10 minutes after take-off. A thud, that's it. The plane continues to fly as if nothing had happened.

Bad weather in Montreal

Anyway, I've never seen lightning so close. Eight hours later, bad weather welcomes us in Montreal. The forecast does not bode well. It should stay gray and cold all weekend. The thermometer usually moves around 12 degrees. Which depresses the mood.

On the drive from the airport to the city, I notice how run down Montreal is. It's getting worse every year. This is what a broke city looks like. The roads are in a sorry state. Many construction sites don't build.

A completely different picture in the city. Nowhere else do so many and heavy sleds drive the streets as in Montreal. Not even in Monte Carlo or Abu Dhabi there is a comparable exhibition of the 250,000 Euro Plus League. Between Thursday and Saturday, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and Porsche are part of the street scene ( Carspotting ).

On Sunday they disappeared again. The whole city lives its Grand Prix. Everywhere shows, street parties, black and white checked merchandising in the shop windows. The pubs are packed every night. You can tell: A race is taking place here.

We live in the middle of the city. At a price that we'd better keep quiet. In Montreal, too, the bad habit of exploiting people not only on the racetrack but also at the hotels has spread. It is therefore a small miracle that the Grand Prix still attracts 205,000 spectators to the city on the St. Lorenz River over three days. The Formula 1 excursion must cost the spectators a small fortune.

Next Zoff in the Silberhaus

The race track is on a small island in front of the city. Although it is not even 10 kilometers from the hotel to the route, the journey in the shuttle is always part of the trip around the worldObstacles. The cumbersome traffic routing leads to a dam that leads above the regatta basin into the paddock.

Since my first visit to Montreal in 1988, not much has happened on the way. It's still not paved. When it rains, the ride becomes a mud fight. When it is dry, the cars pull a plume of dust behind them, as in the desert stages of the Dakar Rally.

After Red Bull's near victory in Monte Carlo, everyone is hoping that Mercedes will come under pressure. Montreal seems to be living up to expectations. Ferrari is within striking distance. The Italians invested 3 tokens in a new turbocharger. Honda is also upgrading. You don't notice much there. Montreal is not a McLaren track.

Sebastian Vettel is wide awake on race day. It's great how he tricked the two Mercedes at the start. And how Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg take care of the next Zoff in the Silberhaus because Hamilton is pushing his teammate into the meadow.

Ferrari has victory on its feet, but again takes a stupid strategic decision for success . The team with the most tire-friendly car, of all people, makes two stops. And Mercedes with one. This is the second win of the season for Hamilton. Like in Melbourne, Vettel looks down the drain again.

As so often before, a big football event begins during the Canadian Grand Prix. This time it's the European Championship. The Canadians transfer everything, which doesn't help us much. The games all take place in the afternoon. There we are at the racetrack.

Only on Monday lunchtime, shortly before the drive to the airport, we see a half-time between Sweden and Ireland live in a pub. Then the Swiss takes us back to Zurich and Stuttgart. On the same evening we continue to Baku. But more about that in the next story ...

In the gallery you will find some personal impressions of the auto motor und sport reporters of the events behind the scenes.


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