Jade Gallagher (aka lookingSpiffy) is a British fan of Felipe Massa, Ferrari and Virgin Racing. She’s over in Montreal for the Grand Prix weekend and writing about her experiences for us all to enjoy – here’s the first installment – straight from Canada…
Having fully settled into my Montreal abode I thought it’d be a good time to update my diary. I landed in Montreal on Monday, having shared my flight with team members from Lotus and Virgin – the majority of whom waited right at the head of the luggage carousel to get their cases as soon as possible! Had a bit of banter with the affable Virgin Racing guys and was picked up from the airport by my friend whose Pincourt house I’m staying in for the week.
The weather here is reasonably warm – by UK standards, anyway – but the air is a bit damp, and the forecast for the weekend has been changeable. At the moment it looks like there’s potential for showers and thunderstorms on Sunday. Good thing I remembered to pick up a $2 rain mac yesterday.
The track itself has been repaired since Formula One’s last visit in 2008; my grandstand seat is at Virage Senna, one of the areas where repair work has taken place, so I’ll be able so see first hand how it holds up over the weekend. I’ve heard that the past winter in Montreal was not a particularly harsh one so that may help.
Tomorrow I’ll be going to the track for the first time bright and early for the Open House Day, where fans can walk the pitlane and get a close up view of the cars as they are worked on in preparation for the weekend. Last year at Monza I also had the opportunity to do this, but the contrast with that will be that only those with three-day grandstand tickets were permitted into the pitlane at Monza, whereas the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve opens it up to the general public as a ticket-free event. Personally I think this approach is the better, particularly in North America, as a promotional tool for Formula One. The Gilles Villeneuve Museum will also be displaying “a Ferrari driven in Montreal” by Gilles in the pitlane.
After the Open House Day finishes at noon I’ll take the metro to Crescent Street and get into the festivities there, not to mention take plenty of photos. Hopefully I’ll return home tomorrow evening with a few more Brazilian autographs on my flag…
Much has changed since 2008 – yes the track’s been repaired, but check out the picture below – yep that’s right, just two years ago Kubica won the grand prix for BMW and it was also their first and only 1-2 finish with Heidfeld in 2nd. Now Kubica’s at Renault, BMW don’t exist and Heidfeld is helping out with commentating for Radio 5Live while being the ‘third driver’ at Mercedes, which was then Honda… how the scene has changed!
Go here to read more about Jade and her travels