D he is looking forward to the Canadian Grand Prix in this one Year especially big. Finally, I can take advantage of one of the privileges for Formula 1 journalists: Instead of arriving on Wednesday as usual, I had a plane ticket issued for Sunday. The previous year, to my horror, Montreal had been dropped off the calendar at short notice. Since I've always wanted to go to Canada, I just had to take this chance.
Sightseeing in Montreal
In short: Montreal is an absolute dream city. A modern business district meets a charming old town. Large parks between the many historical buildings invite you to linger. Montreal is also worth a trip for hardcore shoppers. During a leisurely stroll on the waterfront, Timo Glock jogs towards me with his fitness trainer, who spontaneously invites me to take a lap. 'I'm on vacation. I can also race at home,' I decline his offer with thanks.
There's no time for strenuous fitness exercises. In the afternoon I reserved a place in a jet boat. Plowing through the rapids of the St. Lawrence River with 1,500 hp - this is an opportunity not to be missed. The feeling in the swaying bathtub resembles a bucking rodeo horse. However, the adventure is much wetter. Despite multi-layered waterproof clothing, I'm soaking wet from toe to tip of my hair when the boat docks in the harbor again.
Bribing with chocolate unsuccessful
After two days the hardcore tourist program is over it's time to think about Formula 1 again on Wednesday. I'm going to the track with Roger Benoit from Schweizer Blick and Mathias Brunner from Speedweek. However, not much is going on yet. Roger, who likes to reserve the best seats in the press room on Wednesdays, bites the granite of the nice ladies at reception despite the usual bribe with Swiss Lindt chocolate.
While strolling through the pit lane, you notice that the Ferrari signs are not hanging over the garages of Alonso and Massa. When I asked, one of the mechanics informed me that the cars depicted had the wrong sponsor stickers. The Canadians had apparently not noticed that the Scuderia had voluntarily dispensed with the Marlboro barcode for several races in order not to be cracked for unauthorized cigarette advertising. They hang on ThursdaySigns in their place after all.
Formula 1 in football fever
Much more interesting, however, is the press round with Sebastian Vettel. The young Heppenheimer crashed into his teammate Mark Webber's car during the race and now has to answer the journalists' probing questions. As so often, the English colleagues show no mercy and demand an admission of guilt. But Vettel is actually making fun of avoiding the crucial words.
In addition to Formula 1, there are two important major events this weekend. In Le Mans, Peugeot shows how you can screw up a victory that you believed to be safe despite a faster car, and in South Africa a few footballers are fighting for a not entirely unimportant trophy.
On Saturday the whole paddock is in football fever. Just in time after qualifying, England will face the USA. Since most of the Formula 1 racing teams are based on the island, the technical briefing is a little shorter this time. Everywhere in the paddock there are crowds of people hanging in front of the TV sets, which doesn't make research easier. Since there are English people standing in my way everywhere, I can't help but enjoy the equalization of the Americans.
Nobody wants to talk about Formula 1
On Sunday will But it's even worse: Lewis Hamilton has barely crossed the finish line first than the referee whistles for the German team against Australia in Durban. I am standing in the Virgin Pavilion and try to ask Timo Glock about his race when the Löw-Elf scores the first tournament goal. Glock holds out his fist to his team mate Di Grassi, who is sitting next to us, and shouts 'Podolski'. Do I have to mention that he didn't have much more to say about the race?
In the press room, the FIA kindly switched every fourth screen to football. However, I only notice the goals in the second half as some of my colleagues scream with joy. My personal highlight of the weekend had nothing to do with Formula 1 or football. In the morning the Finnish ice hockey star Teemu Selanne came to visit the paddock. I've been a big fan of pucking since I was a kid and a poster of the NHL veteran, who still holds the record for the most goals in a rookie season, hung in my nursery early on.
Greener meets his childhood idol
As luck would have it, Selanne is a good friend of our Finnish journalist colleague Heikki Kulta, who kindly introduced me to him right away. It was an absolute pleasure to chat with the still active and now 40-year-old winger of the Anaheim Ducks. As a farewell there was even an autograph with a dedication, so that I could book the trip to Montreal as a success from start to finish.