Autoblog recaps the 2016 Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton won, followed by Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas.
Canadian Grand Prix
Momentum. That was the word of the weekend at the last race in Monaco – Nico Rosberg retaking it, Williams getting reacquainted with it and Marussia tasting it for the first time, among other examples. That same, weighted term flew to Canada with the money circus known as Formula One, took all weekend to build and then walloped the front end of the field and the season on Sunday afternoon.
Formula One racing comes and goes from the United States, meandering as it has between locations like Austin, Indianapolis, Phoenix and Watkins Glen. But the one stalwart of grand prix racing on this continent has been the Canadian Grand Prix. Held with only three exceptions (in 1975, 1987 and 2009) since 1961, North American racing fans can (almost) always count on the Canadian Grand Prix to provide them with their F1 action. And that's not about to change any time soon.
There were rain and wind and sun, sometimes all at once. There was the Wall of Champions. There was nothing happening in first place and nothing happening back in sixth during the race, but everywhere else – from the time the weekend began – it was surprises, passes, spins, more passing, flying carbon fiber and finally a couple more last-minute surprises. The Canadian Formula One Grand Prix was a proper race for all the right reasons... well, except for the part where the crowd booed
The motorsports community lost a member over the weekend when a track worker was killed just after the checkered flag waved at Formula One's Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. When the race ended, track officials were working to remove the crashed racecar of Formula 1 driver Esteban Gutierrez (shown above) when a mobile crane lifting the car ran over the unidentified 38-year-old volunteer in a freak accident.
As Formula One racing expands around the globe, we've come to expect certain potential disruptions. Demonstrators in Bahrain scuttled last year's grand prix there, and nearly did the same again this year. Violent crime in Brazil has caused some issues at that country's F1 race as well. And over in the rally raid column, threats from al-Qaeda forced the Dakar Rally to move from North Africa to South America. But in Canada? Peaceful, non-threatening Canada?
This year was the first in Formula One history that had absolutely no presence in North America. But that could change for next year if the latest reports from Canada are any indication, as insiders suggest that a new deal between race organizers and government officials on the one hand and Bernie Ecclestone on the other is in the closing rounds of negotiations.
Since the Canadian Grand Prix was canceled for this season, Formula One has been entirely absent from North America. But participating automakers, investors and organizers alike know that the North American market is vital and can't be overlooked, and to that end several new developments are said to be underway to bring F1 back over to the western shores of the Atlantic.
According to Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay, Ecclestone put forward an outrageous proposal extorting exorbitant multi-million-dollar fees from the race organizers, who receive backing from the three levels of government. The Canadian representatives then began considering levying a new tax over local hotels to cover the cost and planning to establish a non-profit organization to come up with a fiscally sound counter-offer, but even those prospects were completely shut down when Ecclestone stated
Collisions are a common occurrence on Montreal streets. If you don't run into another erratically-driving motorist running a red light, you're likely to experience a near-crash thanks to the crater-sized potholes blemishing the city's tarmac. Although motor racing events carry some of the charm and character of the venue in which they're held, we wouldn't have expected Montreal's treacherous street driving to translate onto the race track. But then the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a road course
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