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Canadian Grand Prix: festive atmosphere during the F1 circus in Montreal

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Neither the rain nor the cold on Saturday discouraged the many F1 fans who, dressed in raincoats or with umbrellas, flocked to the circuit to attend the qualifying sessions, won by the Red Bull team driver Max Verstappen, which will start for first.

Around 100,000 amateurs will go to the Île Notre-Dame on Sunday. Canadians Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) and Nicholas Latifi (Williams) will start 17th and 18th respectively despite finishing the session 18th and 19th due to penalties.

The new rule that you can’t bring your drinks to the venue in an attempt to save a few bucks surprised some but didn’t stop them from walking through the ticket booths, even if without their favorite drinks under their arm. .

It must be said that the entrance for the qualifications is not affordable for all budgets: more than 140 dollars per ticket. However, the lucky ones were able to get them for a hundred dollars on resale sites. The price of a can of beer is correspondingly: $ 10 per unit.

At this price I only get oneone fan said not surprised by the situation, while others said it will prevent the outbursts and inappropriate behavior sometimes associated with excessive drinking.

Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and Fernando Alonso (Alpine) celebrate after the qualifying sessions of the Canadian Grand Prix.

Photo: AP / Jim Watson

While governments and the tourism industry rejoice over the economic fallout, there is also someone behind the scenes to denounce: pollution, sexual exploitation, lower-than-expected profitability for the state, issues that cannot be ignored.

Former driver Bertrand Godin, recently inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame, says drivers are well aware that they work in a polluting business sector, but that the industry is making efforts to improve its environmental record and its cars. .

detractors

More and more detractors are making their voices heard in the media and in the public arena, including, first of all, those who work with victims of sexual exploitation and the police, who have carried out prevention and information activities in anticipation of the Grand Prix of Canada.

Max Verstappen

Photo: The Canadian Press / Graham Hughes

Associate Professor at HEC Montreal, Yves-Marie Abraham did not mince words on Alain Gravel’s microphone on Saturday on the show Facts first. According to him, it is time to put an end to this annual rush and stop the damage. It’s a zombie and undead show with no futureHe said.

Ray Lalonde, a sports marketing expert and former member of the Montreal Canadiens entourage, disagrees, although he believes progress needs to be made, particularly in terms of the environment. Spectator sport is a global trend and the craze can be measured across the planetremember.

Popularity on the rise

The rise in popularity is particularly felt among young adults thanks to, among other things, the video games, series and films that have made motor racing popular. And seeing the crowd watching qualifying was easy to see that there is indeed a succession from the side of the speed enthusiasts.

The numbers for F1 in Montreal don’t lie: Tickets sold out in two hours when they went on sale in December 2021, unheard of in 30 years.

For their part, hoteliers and restaurateurs are sold out. After two years of lean, these international tourists (57% are from outside Quebec and 28% from the United States) are certainly welcome.

The Canadian Grand Prix will take place starting at 2pm on Sunday. The day should be sunny, according to the weather forecast.

With information from Hadi Hassin and The Canadian Press

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