Grand Prix Montreal

 

Wow, formula one was a dusey this year. Grand Prix Montreal is usually known for its unpredictable weather and this year did not disappoint. Friday’s testing of the cars was mixed precipitation and somewhat slippery. Saturdays qualifying was off and on rain and left the track quite wet. Well trained eyes could see the rooster tails coming off of the massive tires. Sunday brought mixed sun/clouds and it was beautiful. Sunday was not too hot, no humidity and the sun would come in and out of the clouds- perfect for racing. It forced drivers to bring there A game and pay attention for the entire weekend.

Image

Vettel cleaned up shop and got 25 points in the process. The fun was not in watching who took pole position, Vettel had it on lock from the pole position where he started. The fun was in watching the likes of Alonso start from a 6th place pole position and claw his way up to second place, beating Lewis Hamilton in the process. Hamilton had a good race but the 3-time Canadian GP winner could not keep up as he had chosen tires poorly. Hamilton was somewhat favored to win, as he has done so well at this track in the past.

 Image

Kimi Raikkonen had a disappointing race. He was penalized 2 spots on the starting grid for exiting pit lane too quickly. He had to start from the 10th position and try to makeup the difference much like Alonso…. Unlike Alonso, Kimi could not get his cards shuffled properly and had to settle for a disappointing 9th place finish. The race seemed to be more about strategy and predicting weather patterns than it did about outright speed. If you made one bad decision in the pits or one ill-timed pit stop than that was it for you and your car.

 

There were no fiery crashes, no launches into lower orbit. The wall of champions chose not to kiss any drivers this year, if it did they were more of a peck than a kiss. This is not to say it made for a boring race. Massa, Gutierrez, Hulkenberg and Guarde all had accidents, resulting in the latter two being knocked out of the race.

Image

Montreal was amazing as always. Saturday night everyone was out in their own race cars. It was the pride of Ferrari at the impromptu car show but an orange Bugatti aced the show (it really stole our hearts). Everyone was out enjoying themselves in their favorite team colours and having a great time.

 Image

We had a dozen members in our posse.  Auto|One Group made sure we had amazing seats for both qualifying and race day. Saturday’s wet qualifying saw us sitting in the 31st section, overlooking turns 8 and 9. This is the section that brakes up the two back straightaways. Drivers come to visit us with the bugs hitting their helmets at upwards of 300 kmph they down shift/brake/pray to about 120 kmph to hook a right hander and then keep their speed and blast back up to 160 kmph as they are waving good bye to the grandstands. Think this is easy? If you are a physics major than you know that it is not. These guys put down 2.5 plus G’s. IN THE RAIN! Our seats on Saturday made for some entertaining rear wheel slippage as the cars exited the final corner. It was amazing to watch the strategy of these drivers as they navigated these turns in the wet.

 Image

Sunday had us sitting in the 22nd section. These seats were great because we could see and hear the racers braking/downshifting/praying as they go from 7th gear and 300 kmph down to 1st gear and 50 kmph to navigate the big 180 degree bend. Once they are on the other side of that bend they are at the beginning of the main straight away where they hit 320 kmph. It is at this time that the cars fly by us accelerating faster and louder than your mind can comprehend (they bump 3rd, 4th and 5th gears in front of us) and then it’s off down the straightaway. It is one thing to hear these vehicles accelerate but another thing all together to appreciate them down shifting. Anyone who tells me that a clutch pedal is better than a paddle shift has never been up close to a 18,000 rpm formula 1 car that is downshifting.

Image

We had a great time at the race and cannot wait for the next opportunity to see/smell/hear race cars!

 

FORMULA 1 VISITS MONTREAL AND WE ARE GOING!!!

This is a busy motorsports week at Auto|One Group. We have 2 teams that are in the midst of the Bullrun Rally. Through regular contact we have found out that they are kicking butt and taking names. Our Porsche 928 from the era of Duran-Duran and acid washed jeans is a force to be reckoned with and team Texas has been full utilizing the V-10 power of the Audi S8 that has been provided…

We will go into the logistics of how a car from the Reagan era has been kept on the road and how it has managed to do as well as it has. Our strategy will not be exposed until after the race has been completed! Clue: it involves sorcery, voodoo and synthetic motor oil.Image

Back in Toronto though we are gearing up for a big weekend in Montreal, Auto|One thought it fitting to send a hockey teams worth of people to see the formula one race this weekend. There are 12 members of our Montreal party/ Formula one club. We are primed and ready for action! Seriously. We have been counting down the departure day to Montreal since the end of May. We may or may not already have a cooler with ice and beer in it.

Image

This weekend promises to be a good one. Whether you are cheering for a team/ manufacturer or a country the stakes are high. The circuit Gilles-villeneuve (yes named after THAT Villeneuve). The race has been conducted since 1970 and has lots of heritage. It was the only stop on the formula circuit for many years. These racers hit 315kmph… if they are slow. They are subjected to over 2 g’s in the corners. Think about that for a second. It’s a 305km race. The stakes are high with no margin for error. Single degrees on the steering wheel can mean the difference between hitting the wall and blasting a straight away. Milliseconds of hesitation can be the difference between hooking a perfect corner and slamming into a wall…. Yeah these guys are pretty slick. This race has a famous corner with a wall dubbed the wall of champions. Famous for ending races/seasons of championship drivers.

We will celebrate 3 major events Friday:

1)      This is the last night of the Bullrun. We will celebrate our mechanic’s and tech supports hard work in prepping the cars. We will also celebrate the drivers for skillfully keeping them out of the ditch and on the straight and narrow.

2)      We will celebrate Formula 1 in Montreal, one of the best events in one of the best cities for parting.

3)      We will celebrate the fact that it is Friday (oh… you don’t?… you should start, it’s good for you)

For those of you that are going to F1 in Montréal I would like to provide some helpful tips. If you have not made dinner reservations as of yet, don’t bother the restaurants will be very busy, same goes for clubs and bars. If you wear your team/ manufacture/ drivers merchandise, be prepared to defend your choice. Nobody wants to ask you about you team Red Bull shirt/hat/lanyard/face paint/pants/officially licensed shoes, and get I love that drink!  As a response to why you are wearing it. Plan a “hair of the dog” scenario… you will need it. Bring both your rain gear and sun screen. Qualifying is Saturday and it is going to be a wet one! This will make for some great driving. Race day however it will be sunny with cloudy periods.

RACERS TAKE YOUR PLACES!